Russian Troops Hold Large-Scale Drills in Armenia

A Russian Orthodox priest blesses Russian troops holding military exercises at the Kamkhud shooting range in Armenia

GYUMRI, Armenia (RFE/RL)—Around 3,000 Russian troops stationed in Armenia have begun weeklong military exercises involving hundreds of tanks and artillery systems as well as warplanes.

According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the main purpose of the unusually large-scale exercises is to “test the combat readiness” of the Russian military base in Armenia in cases of “the highest state of alert.”

A statement released by the ministry’s Southern Military District late last week said that artillery units involved in the war games will fire as many as 30,000 shells at two Armenian shooting ranges. The participating troops will also be backed up by Russian MiG-29 fighter jets based at a military airfield in Yerevan, it said.

The statement also reported a more than fourfold increase this year in “the number of exercises and use of live ammunition” by the Russian base headquartered in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri.

Moscow has reinforced the base with more modern military hardware in recent years. Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected it at the start of a state visit to Armenia last December.

The latest exercises got underway on Monday more than a month after some 1,500 Armenian and Russian soldiers simulated joint military operations against an imaginary common enemy dubbed “Ottomania” by their commanders, a clear reference to Turkey. Those annual drills also involved heavy artillery, tanks and MiG-29 jets.


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  1. Gurgen said:

    All our pro-western Russo-phobes should take careful note of this. The Eurasian alliance equals economic, cultural and military protection. This is the only way to contain the rabid genocidal neighbors since Armenia on its own is too small, weak and land-locked to be truly independent. Until all geopolitical circumstances prove otherwise this is the reality and our leaders have made the best choices so far. When things change geopolitically then it will be time to re-examine. Maybe not in my lifetime.

  2. GB said:

    Russia’s smart move with a political code name of Ottomania, will send a powerful message to Turkey and their Pan-Turanist allies of Turkic world!

    • Sarge the Goon said:

      Armenia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia should attack Turkey and Azerbaijan and seize lost Armenian lands. Also the Kurds should help since they were part of the genocide and in return as a truce they should be awarded non Assyrian and Armenian lands they seize from terrorist neo-ottoman Turkish fascists.

  3. Janapar said:

    What is the point here? Help defend against Turkey and Azerbaijan?
    There is a Russian base in the middle of Armenia and dont you forget it. Closer to Georgia. Closer to Turkey. Closer to Iran. Closer to Azerbaijan.
    It makes the USA fly all the way to Georgia and pretend to be interested in the Caucasus.
    Same old game.

  4. Areg said:

    Do not get it? Americans sell weapons to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Russians sell weapons to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Russia and America selling weapons to savage and Genocidal Turkey and Azrerbaijan.
    Russians have military exercises in Armenia. Nato has drills in Armenia.
    Do these both idiots know what they are doing? Arming Turkey and Azerbaijan!
    Pan Turkism is a threat to America, Russia and the mankind. Do these two idiots know what they are doing?

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      In case of war, they want to destroy their arsenal so they can sell arms all over again

  5. Vahan Vanagan said:

    And the Aim of these exercises is to be to reach up to Erzeroum and to Van, Liberation of Western Armenaia, as it was in 1878 and 1916.

    Vahan Vanagan

    • Janapar said:

      You know, as the ultimate shit disturber this is not a bad idea for Putin.
      An invasion of eastern Turkey would force the USA/NATO to help Erdogan who as an ally is a pain in the butt. Doesn’t look too good on the west to pound little Armenia so as in Ukraine the west will back down from confronting Russia and make a deal.

  6. Avetis said:

    For now at least I can sleep a little better at nights knowing that Armenian officials understand the paramount importance having Russian boots on the ground in Armenia. God bless Mother Russia. God bless our Hayrenik, Armenia. And may God help protect and preserve Russo-Armenian relations from enemies both foreign and domestic.

    • Karnig said:

      You forgot the number one bond we have with the Russkis. Christianity. We are the ONLY Christian ally in the region.

  7. Hratch Karamanoukian MD said:

    Ottomaniacs and their Ottomaniacal ways will not win in the long run. I say NO to Ottomania.