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10 Nov 2017

Belarus, Russia to review Zapad 2017 army exercise

MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – The results of the joint strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 will be summed up at a joint session of the Belarusian and Russian defense ministries on 10 November, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Defense Ministry.

The meeting will be held in the Moscow-based National Defense Control Center. Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov is expected to lead the Belarusian delegation. “The results of the Zapad 2017 drills will be on the agenda of the meeting,” the ministry noted.

Zapad 2017 took place from 14 to 20 September. The army exercise areas Lepelsky, Borisovsky, Losvido, Osipovichsky, and the Air Force exercise areas Ruzhansky and Domanovo were used for the exercise in Belarus in addition to two regular sectors of terrain in Vitebsk Oblast — Dretun and Glubokoye. In Russia, the drills were held at the army exercise areas Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnyye, and Pravdinsky in Kaliningrad Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, and Pskov Oblast.

Some 12,700 military personnel took part in the army exercise. About 10,200 personnel were deployed in Belarus, with Belarus contributing slightly more than 7,000 people and Russia supplying about 3,000 troops. The Belarusian part of the drills also involved 370 armored vehicles, including about 140 combat tanks. Up to 150 artillery units and multiple-launch rocket systems, over 40 aircraft and helicopters were deployed as well.

Belarus invited foreign observers to attend the event: representatives of international organizations (UN, OSCE, NATO, CIS, CSTO, the International Committee of the Red Cross) and military attaches accredited in Belarus (a total of more than 80 people). Attending the exercise were military observers from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Sweden, and Norway.

Zapad 2017 got extensive media coverage. About 270 foreign mass media outlets applied for accreditation. Belarus received applications from news agencies, publications and TV channels from all the neighboring countries, and also the UK, Germany, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Turkey, Finland, France, and Sweden. The army exercise was also covered by journalists from Qatar, South Korea, and Japan.

 

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