Combat engineers of the Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan are helping clearing the highway connecting Dushanbe and Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city, Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, a spokesman for Russia’s Central Military District, reports.    

According to him, Russian servicemen are using a new detecting device “Korshun,” which can spot any electronic device, for example mobile phone, under as much as five meters of snow.

The device is fully portable by dismounted troops and weighs 5 kilograms.  It is capable of detecting mines containing radio-electronic components and explosives at a distance, and can operate in temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius.

According to official data, thirteen people have been killed by avalanches that hit the Dushanbe-Khujand highway over the past month.  

The Dushanbe-Khujand highway is currently open for traffic but the traffic along the highway is limited as work on clearing it of snow is under way. 

The Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is Russia's largest non-naval military facility outside the country.  It was officially opened in Tajikistan in 2004 under a previous agreement, which was signed in 1993, and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.

A total of some 7,000 Russian troops are now stationed at two military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe and Qurghon Teppa, some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe.