Referring to Russian media outlets Interfax and Izvestia, Radio Liberty reported on August 30 that about 500 of Russian troops are taking part in military drills in Tajikistan amid fears of instability across its Central Asian allies after the Taliban gained control of much of Afghanistan, including its northern areas.

"Tactical maneuvers with weapons training exercises have started with the participation of motorized rifle troops from the Russian Federation's military base No. 201 located in Tajikistan," the Central Military District's press service said on August 30 in a statement, adding that the exercises were taking place in the mountainous Sambuli military training field.

All of the servicemen involved in the exercise come from the Russian military base in Tajikistan, it added.

The statement comes three days after spokesman of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) said the alliance plans to hold military exercises in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Central Military District's press service said on August 30 that a military exercise has been conducted for crews of the battalion of the anti-aircraft missile systems of the Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan.

The S-300PS missile system crews have reportedly repelled an air strike of a simulated enemy on targets of the Russian military base, hitting more than fiver targets during the exercise.

Besides, as part of a tactical exercise, which involved about 100 servicemen, combat crews rehearsed the reloading of the anti-aircraft missile systems and setting up he combat positions.  The protection and defense subunits of the Russian military base have repelled an attack of simulated sabotage and reconnaissance groups on the combat positions of the battalion of the anti-aircraft missile systems.

Recall, Russia deployed one S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at its military base in Tajikistan in October 2019.  The system was delivered to Tajikistan from Volga region by rail.

The S-300 is a series of initially Soviet and later Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, based on the initial S-300P version.  The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces.  Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.  The system is fully automated, though manual observation and operation are also possible.  Components may be near the central command post, or as distant as 40 km.  Each radar provides target designation for the central command post.  The S-300 is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently fielded.

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 Bokhtar (formerly Qurghon Teppa, some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe.

CSTO, which groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, has said several thousand troops will be involved in another set of exercises.  The Rubezh (Frontier) exercise will be conducted in Kyrgyzstan from September 7-9.  Three other military exercises will be conducted close to the Tajik-Afghan border in October, with the fourth one scheduled for November.