Strategic military exercises Kavkaz 2020 began in Russia. About 80,000 military personnel take part in them.
"The strategic command-staff training "Kavkaz-2020" has been launched in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation," reads the statement on Russian Defense Ministry’s website.
The exercises will be held from September 21 to 26 in the Southern Military District under the leadership of the Chief of the General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov.
The main drills will take place at the Prudboy, Ashuluk, Kapustin Yar, Arzgirsky and Kopansky training sites. In addition, drills of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian flotilla will be held in the Black and Caspian Seas. Iran's warships will also take part in them.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, military personnel of Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan, with a total number of up to 1,000 people, have been invited to these exercises. Guests from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka will take part as observers.
The Russian leadership invited India to the exercises, but Indian authorities refused, explaining their decision by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Times of India and The Print, the decision may be related to the participation of representatives of Pakistan and China, with which India is in conflict.