MINSK, 10 September (BelTA) – The active phase of the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2021 [West 2021] has begun. In accordance with the training schedule the exercise will take place in Belarus and Russia on 10-16 September, BelTA learned from the Zapad 2021 website.
The Zapad 2021 military exercise is a scheduled one and represents the final stage in the system of joint training of Belarusian and Russian army units in 2021. It is primarily designed to improve training levels of the troops belonging to the regional military force, which is tasked with ensuring security in the Eastern Europe region. The exercise will focus on deploying the regional military force to ensure the military security of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.
“Zapad 2021 is a defensive exercise, which reaffirms Belarus' policy in favor of stronger regional security and dedication to commitments of the union with the Russian Federation,” the Belarusian Defense Ministry noted. “The concept of the exercise is purely defensive. The concept was developed taking into account modern approaches to the deployment of forces (troops) based on the experience of recent armed conflicts, combat training events, and troops deployment forms and methods, which have been worked out by the Belarusian army and the Russian one. It will allow improving in practice the procedure for the joint use of defensive infrastructure. It will check the readiness and the ability of the regional military force to carry out designated missions.”
In Belarus the troops will use the 230th combined-arms exercise area Obuz-Lesnovsky, the 174th Air Force and Air Defense exercise area Domanovsky, the 210th aviation exercise area Ruzhansky, and the exercise area Brestsky as part of the exercise. The troops will also use nine army exercise areas in Russia (Kirillovsky, Strugi Krasnyye, Mulino, Pogonovo, Khmelevka, Pravdinsky, Dobrovolsky, Dorogobuzh, Volsky).
Nearly 400 military personnel and over 30 combat vehicles will be deployed to Russia for the sake of participation in the army exercise Zapad 2021.
The exercise will include two stages. In Belarus a number of training missions will be accomplished. The main ones include the creation of a force grouping within a short period of time using army units, which remain combat-ready in time of peace, boast high mobility, and are capable of autonomous actions; control over actions of Air Force and Air Defense units in the course of repulsing the enemy's aerial strikes; the testing of new defensive actions; the landing of tactical airborne forces.
In line with the concept of the exercise the number of personnel, combat tanks, armored fighting vehicles, multiple-launch rocket systems, artillery systems, and the number of planned aircraft sorties do not exceed the level that triggers mandatory observation of certain kinds of military activities specified by various treaties and agreements on arms control. About 12,800 people, including about 2,500 Russian military personnel and up to 50 Kazakh military personnel belonging to the CSTO collective rapid response forces, will take part in the Zapad 2021 exercise in Belarus' territory.
Of them about 6,300 people (slightly more than 3,700 from Belarus and about 2,500 from Russia) fall within the scope of the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures. In addition, up to 350 armored units will be deployed, including about 140 tanks, about 110 artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, as well as over 30 aircraft and helicopters.
Once the exercise is over, by 30 September the troops, weapons, military and special hardware of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus will be returned to their permanent bases while troops and units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will leave Belarus' territory.