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14 Sep 2017

No more Russian army units to move to Belarus for Zapad 2017 exercise

MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) – All the designated units of the Russian army have arrived in Belarus for the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017. No more units are supposed to arrive, BelTA learned from Vladimir Makarov, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Central Office for Ideology of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, on 14 September.

The Defense Ministry spokesman noted that all the units of the Russian component of the Belarusian-Russian regional military force had arrived and were busy tackling training missions in the exercise areas. “Other Russian army units are not supposed to arrive in Belarus for the purpose of the [Zapad 2017] exercise,” he stressed.

“While some missions are in progress in Russia, the troops will not have to redeploy to Belarus. It’s official,” added Vladimir Makarov. If troops have to redeploy, they travel to Russian exercise areas. Three Russian army exercise areas are used for the Zapad 2017 exercise. No Belarusian army units will turn up in these areas.

The official also pointed out that no other army exercises will be held alongside the Zapad 2017 exercise in Belarus these days.

The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 began on 14 September to end on 20 September. In Belarus the regular army exercise areas Lepelsky, Borisovsky, Losvido, Osipovichsky, and the Air Force exercise areas Ruzhansky and Domanovo will be used for the exercise in addition to two regular sectors of terrain in Vitebsk Oblast — Dretun and Glubokoye. In Russia the army exercise areas Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnyye, and Pravdinsky in Kaliningrad Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, and Pskov Oblast will be used for the exercise.

Modern approaches to combat warfare and the experience of modern armed conflicts were taken into account in order to put together the concept of the Zapad 2017 army exercise. The concept stems from a crisis situation, which gets aggravated by actions of illegal armed groups, international separatist and terrorist organizations enjoying outside support. For the purposes of the exercise the warring parties are located within real borders of Belarus: the Northerners, which include the Union State of Belarus and Russia, and the Westerners, which are represented by a coalition of interested countries. All the recent armed conflicts began in line with this scenario.

Some 12,700 military personnel are taking part in the Zapad 2017 exercise. About 10,200 personnel will be deployed in Belarus, with Belarus contributing slightly more than 7,000 people and Russia supplying about 3,000 troops. The Belarusian part of the exercise will also involve 370 armored vehicles, including about 140 combat tanks. Up to 150 artillery units and multiple-launch rocket systems, over 40 aircraft and helicopters will be deployed as well.


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