June 29, 2009
Russia on Monday started its biggest military exercises in the Caucasus since its war with neighbouring Georgia last year, mobilising thousands of troops in a clear warning to its foes.
[efoods]Georgia swiftly condemned as “dangerous” the week-long exercises, which are taking place just north of where Russia and Georgia fought over the pro-Moscow breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.
About 8,500 troops are participating in the “Caucasus 2009” exercises and up to 200 tanks, 450 armoured cars and 250 artillery pieces of various types, according to the Russian defence ministry.
It added that the war game focusing on counter-terrorism and the defence of strategic targets will run until July 6 — the day US President Barack Obama arrives for a much anticipated summit in Moscow.