TBILISI: Russian Military Practices Peace Enforcement In Conflict Zo


Daily Georgian Times
July 16 2008

Russia’s North Caucasian Military District (SKVO) launched on July 15
large scale military exercises, Kavkaz-2008, involving 8,000 personnel
from the Army, the Interior Ministry and border guards of the Federal
Security Service, Russian news agencies reported.

"The main goal of the exercises is to assess a joint response
of military administrations against the background of a terrorist
threat in the south of Russia," Interfax and Itar-Tass news agencies
quoted an aide to the commander of the Russian land forces, Igor
Konashenkov, as saying. "In connection with an escalation in tension
in the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian conflict zones, issues
related to involvement in special peace enforcement operations in the
zones of armed conflict will also be worked out during the exercises."

He also said that around 700 pieces of military hardware were involved
in the exercises.

Meanwhile, about 2,000 soldiers, mainly from the United States and
Georgia, launched military exercises Immediate Response-2008 at the
Vaziani base outside Tbilisi on July 15.

Smaller units from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are also taking
part in the exercises.

U.S. Brigadier General William B. Garrett told journalists in Vaziani
that the main purpose of the exercises was to increase the cooperation
between U.S. and Georgian forces.

The exercises, which were planned by the U.S. European Command,
were first announced in January, 2008.