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Estonian-NATO drills Sibul-2017 kick off
14:26, 30 September 2017
Estonian-NATO drills Sibul-2017 kick off

The drills are aimed at practicing defence against offensive infantry

14:26, 30 September 2017

NATO drills in Estonia, August 2017
Facebook Roman Bochkala

The Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit) started its military exercise, joined by the NATO troops dislocated in Estonia today, September 30, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

Kaitseliit troops are to train in conducting defence fights against an offensive by infantry.

As Kalle Kohler, Head of the exercise, said, the drills will summarize the three-year training course of training of South Estonia troops, and prepare the staff and units for the upcoming large-scale drills Siil 2018.

Related: Estonia supports implementation of UN peacekeepers mission in Donbas, - foreign minister Sven Mikser

“The participation of the allies in the drills gives Kaitseliits a great opportunity to work on cooperation with the NATO troops based in Estionia,” Kohler said.

The drills are to finish on October 1.

Previously Russia and Belarus held a military exercise West-2017, which caused a lot of concern in the neighbouring countries. The drills took place in Belarus on September 14-20. During the drills, on September 16, two Russian military aircrafts Il-76 invaded the airspace of Lithuania. Later on, NATO confirmed that the claimed numbers of military participating in the drills, given by Russia and Belarus, were false, although it would take time to give precise estimates.

On September 28, Russia claimed to have withdrawn all troops from Belarus.

However, Head of Ukraine's General Staff says Russia brought more troops to participate in the West-2017 military drills than had been stated, and withdrew just a few of them after the exercise finished.

Related: Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine hold command post rehearsal within preparation to Dragon-2017

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