MOSCOW, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Armed Forces began massive military exercises in Crimea on Monday in parallel with drills staged by Western countries near the Russian border.
The Russian exercises involve more than 1,500 paratroopers, over 300 pieces of military equipment, warplanes and military helicopters, as well as large landing ships, TASS news agency reported, quoting a defense ministry statement.
The troops will practice rapid long-distance transfers and the landing of personnel and military equipment from aircraft and amphibious ships with the aim of capturing and destroying targets of a simulated enemy, it said.
Airborne units will conduct maneuvers in unfamiliar areas, seizing and holding terrain in order to ensure the landing and advancement of the main forces with fire support, it added.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is conducting exercises with Georgia between March 18 and March 29, involving 343 military and civilian personnel from 21 NATO members, Azerbaijan, Sweden and Georgia.