The second stage of the large-scale command and staff exercises of the Pacific Fleet has started today in the Russian Far East. As the RIA Novosti correspondent was told in the fleet's headquarters, on August 20-22 it is planned to deploy the forces in the regions of the set tasks, having started moving forward the combat materiel and fighting ships and the ships of different government departments and ministries.
The active phase of the exercises will begin at the third stage (August 23-27). Military observers from six countries of the Asia-Pacific Region have been invited to this stage. During the active phase it is planned to carry out 24 local exercises which will include practising 45 episodes.
Apart from the Pacific Fleet, the units and operational groups of the power and purely "civil" structures will take part, such as the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the State Committee for Fishing.
Altogether, taking part in the exercises will be over 68 ships and motor boats, 42 auxiliary ships, 50 planes and helicopters and up to 30,000 servicemen and civil specialists.
The main peculiarity of the manoeuvres is that only a quarter of the tasks set to them will be purely military. But all of them are oriented either at helping marine frontier guards or the rescue detachments of the Emergencies Ministry and other power structures. A majority of the episodes being practised at the exercises are aimed at abolishing emergency situations, as well as against poaching, terrorism and smuggling in the territorial waters of Russia.
Russian officials have repeatedly declared that Israeli aviation poses a threat to the Russian military in Syria.