Russia-Led Security Bloc Holds Joint Military Drills

CSTO exercise 2010Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led military alliance of former Soviet states, started joint peacekeeping drills on Monday in Russia’s Urals region, the Central Military District said.

The drills, dubbed Unbreakable Brotherhood 2013, involve over 2,500 servicemen and more than 500 units of military hardware from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. . . .

The bloc has a Collective Rapid Reaction Force deployed in Central Asia, and is continuing to build up its military forces, which some experts view as a step to counter-balance NATO’s further eastward expansion and to keep the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries under Russia’s military protection.

Image: CSTO exercise 2010 (photo: Russian Ministry of Defense)