Two Belarusan air defense units, designated as brigades, yesterday began a six-day exercise at Russia’s Ashuluk firing range in the Astrakhan oblast of the North Caucasus military district. Two other Belarusan air defense brigades conducted a similar exercise at Ashuluk last week, where they fired Buk and S-300 missiles at flying targets. The commander of Belarusan Air Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Valery Kastenka, is directing the exercises. (Belapan, August 15; Russian agencies, August 18) The Belarusans were first admitted to Ashuluk for exercises last year, when the country’s air defense forces became integrated with those of Russia. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has described the mission of his air defense forces as guarding the Western approaches to Russian airspace.
U.S. Senator Describes Georgia as Leader in CIS Economic Reform.