DUSHANBE, April 18, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Dmitry Matushkin, an assistant to the commander of the Russian base in Tajikistan, announced on April 18 the opening of planned military exercises at the Lohour, Mumirak and Sumbuli training grounds.

According to him, the purpose of these company-level tactical exercises is to rehearse coordination and interaction in autonomous combat missions in mountains and deserts.

Chief of Staff of Russia’s Central military District, Major-General Sergey Chuvaking, is in overall command of the ongoing war game, the source said.

Russia first established the 201st military base in Tajikistan in 2004 with a contingent of several thousand personnel from a motorized infantry division stationed in Tajikistan.