Russia, Belarus and Serbia learn to suppress 'Maidan'
First-ever joint military exercises of paratroopers from Russia, Belarus and Serbia are to start in two days near Novorossiisk, Russia. The drills will be conducted to show resistance to anti-government riots and illegal armed groups, Commander of the Russian Airborne Troops, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov said.
Under the scenario of the drills that will be held on September 2-5, "anti-government elements" and regular armed forces will be trying to destabilize the state of affairs in a conditional state. The joint command will decide to take joint anti-terrorist actions to destroy illegal armed groups and restore law and order, the official said.
Vladimir Shamanov said that during the first stage of the drills, non-lethal weapons will be used in the course of "special operations to prevent unrest". The official did not specify what kind of non-lethal weapons they would be exactly.
According to the Commander of the Airborne Force, "the purpose of the exercises is to train the skills of a joint group in a special operation to detect and destroy the center for training illegal armed groups."
The drills will be conducted on the Raevsky range ground of the 7th Air Assault Division. The division will represent Russia in the drills. Serbia will send a separate airborne company to the drills, whereas Belarus - two companies of special forces, RIA Novosti reports.
"In total, the event will involve more than 700 troops, 20 aircraft and helicopters, 100 units of hardware, including of Belarus," said Shamanov.
Foreign participants have already arrived to the area of the maneuvers. Serbian commandoes will receive equipment and arms from the Russian Defense Ministry.
As for non-lethal weapons, it is worth noting that Russian riot police may soon receive state-of-the-art shields complete with built-in electroshock devices.
The Ministry of Interior plans to purchase 100 test electroshock shields that will protect its wearer from impacts of heavy objects, as well as from electric current: the back side of the shield is covered with special protective rubber film. The new shield makes it possible to use a taser in a conventional way as well. It will take a person up to 20 minutes to recover after being exposed to an electric shock of the new shield.
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