Shanghai six: a strength test


The active final phase of the antiterrorist exercises Peace Mission-2007 with participation of heads of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is conducted at the Russian military training range Chebarkul in the Chelyabinsk Region. Previously, they met in Bishkek where they discussed important economic issues of the SCO and signed an agreement on long-term cooperation.

The exercises of the SCO began on August 9 in the Chinese city of Urumchi. This city is the administrative center of the Xingjian-Uygur Autonomous Area of China. Military political consultations of the chiefs of general (main) staffs of the armed forces of the SCO member states were held there. This territory is one of the most turbulent in China. There representatives of the so-called Islamic Movement of Turkestan are fighting in a non-declared war against Beijing for the purpose of separating the province and the establishment of a caliphate together with other Central Asian republics of the CIS and Afghanistan. Orthodox extremist dogmas of the Islamic teaching will be in the focus of policy of this state. Hence, it is understandable that China and other SCO countries are going to counteract this threat and to defend their territorial integrity in cooperation.

It is not incidental that the idea of the exercises reflected problems connected with the combating of separatism and extremism. Krasnaya Zvezda wrote that the exercises were started after a joint directive of the chiefs of the general (main) staffs of the armed forces of the SCO member states for the preparation and conduction of a joint antiterrorist operation in the southeast of state “A.” Conventional state “N” was located nearby. Along with this, its northern border areas are controlled by international extremist and terrorist organizations. Opposition separatist forces of state “A” and international extremist and terrorist organizations were named “blue.” The “red” are SCO member states, namely the united group of forces.

According to the legend of the exercises, the training issues are worked out against the background of domestic political situation growing worse. Due to the insufficiency of forces of security agencies of state “A” and in response to an address of its authorities to the SCO for provision of assistance in resolving of the crisis the council of foreign ministers of the SCO countries turned to the UN for obtaining of permit for provision of aid (including the military one) to state “A.” The UN issued a mandate for an antiterrorist operation in state “A.” Afterwards, the parliaments of the SCO member states ratified an agreement on conduction of this operation on the territory of state “A.”

The countries organized a united group of forces consisting of six operational groups, as well as a relevant joint command and started regrouping of forces and their concentration on the territory of state “A.”

In the exercises, the Russian Armed Forces are represented by units of the 34th mechanized infantry division of the Volga-Urals Military District, army and frontline aviation of the fifth army of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces, units of the Airborne Forces, as well as Interior Forces of the Interior Ministry, units of the Main Penitentiary Department, Border Guards Service of the Federal Security Service and other security agencies. Overall, about 6,500 servicemen participate in the exercises, as well as about 500 pieces of various military hardware.

The press center of Peace Mission-2007 exercises told the WPS that presidents of the SCO member states, as well as invited representatives of other countries would be able to observe the following tactical episodes of the exercises:

1. Reconnaissance.

2. Taking of important areas, points (objects): reconnaissance and landing operations.

3. Blocking and elimination of an enemy in a populated locality.

4. Elimination of a large bandit force coming to rescue terrorists blocked in a populated locality.

5. Elimination of separate groups of terrorists in the course of a pursuit with use of tactical and air landing operations in cooperation with units of the border guards.

As we see, the actions of the SCO member states will be very diverse. Along with this, Interior Forces, as well as antiterrorist and border guards units of the Federal Security Agency of Russia and other similar agencies of the SCO member states will demonstrate their skills during the exercises too.