Why Russia’s Kavkaz 2020 War Games Matter (And Why India Left Them)

Russia’s armed forces are hosting a series of large-scale international exercises in Southern Russia and parts of the Caucasus, drawing the ire of Ukraine while also highlighting the limits of Russian military power in shaping Eurasia’s complex geopolitical landscape.

Kavkaz—Russian for “Caucasus”—2020 is the last in a cycle of four rotating regional exercises, preceded by ZAPAD 2017, VOSTOK 2018, and TSENTR 2019. These exercises are a means of gauging battle-readiness in each of Russia’s four military districts: Western, Eastern, Central, and Southern, respectively.

Around 150,000 military personnel are expected to participate in military drills held in Rostov, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Crimea, Adygea, Chechnya, Dagestan, and South Ossetia throughout September.

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