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Russia Operates Large Scaled Military Training

Posted June. 18, 2004 22:14,   


The Russian Army has strained the U.S. and northeastern Asian countries by operating maneuver training for the rapid mobility of forces in Europe to northeastern Asian regions for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union.

A Chinese newspaper, Kyoung-wha Si Bo, reported on June 18, “Russia is training its army on the largest scale in 15 years in Yeonhae-ju, a border region of China and North Korea.

Aimed for Intervening Conflict in the Far East—

The name of this training that began on June 6 and will reach its peak next week is “Mobility 2004.” Its concept is rapid arrangement of forces stationed in Europe (western part of the Ural Mountains) to the Far East by flying more than 10,000 kilometers in transport planes.

Although the Russian Defense Secretary Sergei Ivanov elucidated, “It’s not a training aiming for a specific country,” experts interpret that this is a preparation for possible conflicts on the Russian-Chinese border and Russian-Japanese border as well as the Korean peninsula.

The chief of the General Staff, Anatoli Kvashunin, took personal command of it, and President Vladimir Putin will visit the training site of the Far East area with Ivanov. It is remarkable that the heads of Russia are coming forward in the maneuver training.

The training occurs in three steps.

The first training step, which moves the army rapidly in Europe to the Far East, began on June 6 when 800 soldiers and 100 armed vehicles in an airborne unit in the Ural army district, a mechanized infantry unit, and the marine corps under the fleet in the North Sea moved to Ussuriysk near Vladivostok in 47 military planes and two nonmilitary planes.

In the second step, training will be carried out between June 21 and 25, and the newly placed army will receive training which imitates actual fighting on a large scale level in the Far East district. There will also be an air infiltration in the rear of the enemy and a coast landing targeting an imaginary enemy as well as training for securing communication and road safety against possible terror attacks.

The third step, unknown to the public, will be executed between June 26 and 30.

A Return Signal to the Military Power?—

After the Old Soviet’s collapse, Russia was not able to operate large-scale military training for 10 years due to its weak economy. It could not concentrate on keeping peace with neighboring allies such as Russia proper and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by reducing its military strategy which confronted the U.S. in the world stage during the Cold War period.

However, as the economy is recovering and Putin’s will to secure the nation becomes stronger, the large scaled military training restarts. Some neighboring nations worry about whether Russia intends to recover its ability to intervene in international conflicts like the old Soviet Union.

The Russian army is going to carry out “Kaliningrad 2004,” imagining a full-scale genocide and environmental disaster as a result of terror attack from June 22 to 25 in Europe separate from this training. Ivanov has been getting the people’s attention by announcing recently, “We’ll operate an unprecedented, full-scale training in August and September.”

In February, Russia conducted an experiment by launching a new type of Inter-continent Ballistic Missle in a full-scale cubic training mobilizing a ground army, the air force, the navy, the strategic rocket force, and space army.

Yoo-Seong Hwang Ki-Hyun Kim yshwang@donga.com kimkihy@donga.com