Observers from five western countries travelled from Moscow to the Western Ukraine recently to watch the Soviet Union stage its largest air and ground military exercises for over a year.
GV EXT. PAN & SV Tanks on manoeuvres in Western Ukraine, USSR. (4 shots)
GV Helicopter flying over armoured vehicles.
SV & GV Light armoured vehicles across open ground. (2 shots)
GV military lorries pulling field guns.
SV PAN Helicopter coming into view over tank.
SV & GV military lorries through muddy terrain.
SV's: tank through muddy terrain. (3 shots)
SV Tank enters water and goes under. (2 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV Soldiers climb off lorry and set up field gun. (4 shots)
SV's troops engaged in hand to hand combat. (4 shots)
SV Officer looking at chart.
SV soldier loading field gun and firing. (3 shots)
GV soldiers run across terrain.
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Background: Observers from five western countries travelled from Moscow to the Western Ukraine recently to watch the Soviet Union stage its largest air and ground military exercises for over a year.
SYNOPSIS: The manoeuvres officially opened with a mock tank battle and a river crossing operation. It was intended to give the Soviet military command an opportunity to test its helicopter troops and jet fighter support for advancing tank and infantry forces. The Soviet Union, which has not fought a war for over 30 years, felt it lacked the air-support experience gained by the United States army in the Vietnam war.
The five-day exercises, code-named "Karpaty", were also intended to demonstrate that Moscow was living up to the spirit of the 1975 Helsinki Accords which are currently under review in Belgrade. The Helsinki Conference recommended that observers be invited to watch land exercises involving more than 25,000 men as a way of building confidence between East and West. This operation was carried out by some 27,000 men and was watched by observers from West Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Two of these countries, West Germany and Italy, are inside Nato's integrated military structure.
A Division Vice-Commander taking part in the exercises told reporters his duty to the people was to give secure protection to the homeland.