Joint 22-Nation Military Exercises Start in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Joint military exercises of 22 countries aimed at practicing international peacekeeping operations kicked off here on Wednesday, said the press office of Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

The 20-day exercises, Peace Shield 2005, are participated in by 750 servicemen from the countries including the United States, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.

The exercises, different from traditional ones, are divided into two stages, according to the office.

In the first stage, computer networks will be used to enhance coordination between the headquarters and various sections of the troops as well as coordination between multinational troops in their peacekeeping missions.

Exercises at this stage will be directed from Ukraine's state academy of national defense research and last till July 25.

The second stage will take place between Aug. 3-13 at the Crimean peninsula in south Ukraine. Exercises at the stage will be mainly naval, land and air real-combat drills. The United States will send its marine corps to the drills.

The Peace Shield 2005 exercises are part of the bilateral military cooperation program between Ukraine and the United States, according to press report.

Source: Xinhua