Strategic exercises code-named Mobility-2004 will be held in Russia from June 9-30, according to the training plan of the Russian armed forces. They will be directed by General of the Army Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces, RIA Novosti was told on the day before at the press-service of Russia's Defense Ministry.
The theme of the upcoming exercises is "Preparing and Carrying Out an Inter-Theater Regrouping of Troops (Forces) to the Far Eastern Region", notes the release obtained by RIA Novosti.
A spokesman for the press-service said that about 50 aircraft of military transport aviation of the Air Force and of the Transport Ministry of Russia will start ferrying units of landing troops, Marines, motorized riflemen and military hardware. "More than 100 pieces of armor and motor vehicles will be used in the exercises," he added.
The main phase of the exercises will be held between June 21-25 to practice combat operations in an unfamiliar terrain and under a variety of geographic and climatic conditions.
Plans will also be prepared for special operations to localize and destroy terrorist, sabotage and reconnaissance groups, and to defend the seacoast and the mainland, it was noted at the press-service.
Besides, servicemen will practice defending strategic transport communications and coordinating efforts between leading organs of the armed forces and other structures of the country.
On May 17, 2004 Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the armed forces of Russia would hold major exercises in June.
"In June we are preparing large-scale exercises, above all for stand-by units, which will be lifted from one region of the country to another by transport aircraft of the Defense Ministry and partly by civilian aviation - long-haul Il-62 and Il-86 aircraft," Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier.
On May 28, Lieutenant-General AlexanderMerkulov, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force of Russia for Logistics, said that within the framework of preparations for the exercises in June the Air Force was tasked to lay in the required stocks of aviation fuel at all the country's aerodromes. "We have coped with this job," Merkulov said.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building