MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - More than 500 weapon systems, 50 aircraft and some 2,000 troops have been deployed in a large-scale air-defense exercise in eastern Russia, military officials said on Wednesday.
The exercise beginning on Wednesday in the Republic of Buryatia saw the use of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, Osa, Buk, Strela and Shilka antiaircraft missiles, Igla man-portable SAM missiles, and Pantsir-S gun-missile systems, Eastern Military District press officer Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev said.
Gordeyev said the Pantsir-S systems were delivered to the district in late 2012.
The system combines a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 short-range missiles. The Pantsir can engage targets at a range of 20 kilometers (12 miles) with missiles and at 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) with cannons.
The exercise, under the command of Eastern Military District chief Adm. Konstantin Sidenko, will last through mid-April.
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US President Barack Obama reaffirmed on Wednesday his desire to strengthen the bilateral relationship with Russia during talks with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.
A Florida man with ties to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed early Wednesday morning after attacking an FBI agent during questioning, law enforcement officials said.
Russia’s first light-class modification Angara 1.2PP carrier rocket is ready for its maiden launch, its manufacturer Khrunichev Center said on Wednesday.
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has written letters to Russian authorities in support of two members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot, who were jailed last August on offical charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, his website says.
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