ASTRAKHAN REGION, Russia, Sept. 21 -- The opening ceremony of the multinational military strategic exercise "Kavkaz-2020" was held at the Kapustin Yar Range on September 19, local time. Troops participating in the exercise from countries including Russia and China attended the ceremony.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Snr. Gen. Nikolay Pankov, Lt. Gen. Liu Xiaowu, deputy commander of the Chinese PLA Western Theater Command and the commander of the Chinese troops for the exercise, as well as the supreme commanders of the participating forces from other countries, delivered speeches respectively.
During the military parade at the ceremony, the troop phalanxes from Russia, China, Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar, and Pakistan marched past the rostrum successively, after which 11 helicopters flew over the camping village.
According to information released by the Russian Defense Ministry, the total number of the participating troops has reached 80,000. They have assembled at the designated shooting range and are divided into the land-based tactical group, the air force and air defense tactical group, and the navy tactical group. Nearly 250 tanks, 450 infantry fighting vehicles and armored transport vehicles, 200 guns and multiple launch rocket systems will be put into the drill.
It is for the third consecutive year that China has participated in strategic exercises hosted by the Russian military after the "Vostok-2018" and "Tsentr-2019" exercises. This year, the Chinese troops will take part in campaign planning and actual-troop operations at Kapustin Yar shooting Range in Astrakhan, Russia, where the final demonstrating drill will also be held on September 25.