By RFE/RL's Tajik Service
Russia says it has for the first time used its Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems out of the country during military exercises in Tajikistan.
Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, an aide to the commander of Russia's Central Military District, said on June 1 in the city of Yekaterinburg that an Iskander ballistic missile hit a simulated terrorist camp located 15 kilometers from the Tajik-Afghan border.
Roshchupkin said Uragan (Hurricane) rocket systems were also used in the May 30-June 1 Dushanbe-Anti-Terror 2017 drills conducted by the Antiterrorism Center of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose grouping of former Soviet republics.
Tajik Defense Ministry spokesman Faridun Mahmadaliev told RFE/RL that the exercises were being held under general supervision of Tajikistan's State Committee for National Security.
Mahmadaliev added that a total of 4,500 Tajik and Russian military personnel were taking part in the maneuvers. Russia sent 2,000 troops as well as 30 planes and helicopters.
Russia has about 7,000 troops stationed at three facilities that are considered part of a single Russian base in Tajikistan.