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Modern warfare at heart of Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017

Society 13.09.2017 | 16:31
Oleg Voinov
Oleg Voinov

MINSK, 13 September (BelTA) – Modern approaches to using armed forces and the experience of modern armed conflicts were taken into account when the concept of the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 was put together, BelTA learned from Oleg Voinov, Head of the International Military Cooperation Department of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, Aide to the Defense Minister for International Military Cooperation, on 13 September.

According to Oleg Voinov, the concept stems from a crisis situation, which gets aggravated due to activities 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,” noted the official.

The exercise will include two stages. During the first stage there are plans to prepare troops for combat deployment and for isolating the areas where illegal armed groups and the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance forces operate. Air Force and Air Defense units in charge of protecting important government institutions and military installations will be reinforced. Preparations to repulse a possible aggression will be put in place. Interaction and comprehensive logistics will be established.

During the second stage of the exercise there are plans to practice managing troops during a combat operation aimed at repulsing aggression against the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Interaction and all kinds of support in a rapidly changing situation will be practiced.

The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 is scheduled to take place in Belarus and three army exercise areas in Russia (Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnyye, and Pravdinsky) on 14-20 September. Some 12,700 military personnel will take part in the 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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