India participates in exercise with 17 nations in Russia |  India news

NEW DELHI: India will take part in the multi-nation military exercise “Zapad” in Nizhny in Russia from September 3rd to 16th. China and Pakistan are also taking part in the 17-nation exercise, but as “observers” with no actual troops deployed for the exercise.
The Indian army sent around 200 soldiers, mainly from the Naga regiment, as the “All Arms Combined Task Force” for the exercise, which is part of the theater exercises of the Russian armed forces.
“The exercise aims to strengthen military and strategic relationships among the participating nations as they plan and conduct this exercise, which will focus on counter-terrorism operations,” said one officer.
India withdrew from the anti-terrorist exercise “Kavkaz” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia in September last year because Chinese and Pakistani troops were supposed to take part in the combat exercises, as TOI announced at the time.
The decision to withdraw from the Kavkaz exercise was made amid heightened tensions during the military confrontation with China in east Ladakh following the violent clashes in the Galwan Valley on June 15.
Since then, India and China have withdrawn troops on both sides of the Pangong Tso as well as Gogra, though the other points of friction at Hot Springs, Demchok and Depsang Plains are still bogged down while general de-escalation along The Line of Actual Control is not yet in sight.
India and Pakistan also decided in February of this year to maintain a new ceasefire at the borders after a particularly violent 2020, with artillery and gun duels between rival armies breaking all annual records for the past 18 years. The ceasefire has held so far, although some infiltration attempts have been reported.
Troops from India, Russia, Mongolia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and Belarus will take part in the upcoming Zapad exercise. Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka will take part as “observers” or with “HQ employees”.
“The Indian contingent has undergone a grueling training schedule that encompasses all facets of conventional operations, including mechanized, airborne, heliborne, counter-terrorism, combat conditioning and firing,” the officer said.