A dog stands near Russian paratroopers, who are waiting to board a helicopter, during a military exercise outside the southern city of Stavropol, Russia, October 27, 2015. Russian paratroopers are set to take part in an exercise in Africa for the first time. EDUARD KORNIYENKO/REUTERSS

Russian soldiers are to test their combat readiness in Africa for the first time in history, as Russia will deploy specially equipped paratroopers to Egypt.

Russian state media said the joint drill with the Egyptian armed forces is set to take place later this month, with Russian troops, sporting equipment designed for hot climates, practicing combat with militants in desert conditions.

Russian military air carriers will also take part in the drill, which is the first time they will do so in the continent of Africa.

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The weather conditions will replicate a number of Middle Eastern environments, including Syria, where the Russian air force is engaged in combat with a number of militant groups. Russia has been forced to repeatedly deny that its intervention in Syria does not include ground operations.

The exact date of the drill has not been given. However, the Russian Ministry of Defence has confirmed that 30 other militaries will also take part in the drill. Russian armed forces have deployed units on numerous exercises near North Africa, in the Mediterranean Sea.


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