MOSCOW, 29 August (BelTA) – The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 will take place in Belarus and in three exercise areas in Russia in two stages on 14-20 September. The information was released by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin during the media briefing held in Moscow on 29 August for foreign military attachés and reporters, BelTA has learned.
According to the source, Belarus will provide the exercise areas near Lepel, Borisov, Losvido, Osipovichi, two exercise areas of the Air Force and Air Defense Command near Ruzhany and Domanovo as well as a piece of terrain near the village of Dretun. Russia will provide the exercise areas Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnyye, and Pravdinsky in Kaliningrad Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, and Pskov Oblast.
The purpose of the exercise is to prepare and deploy military forces for the sake of ensuring the military security of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Ways to improve the operational compatibility of staffs of different levels will be practiced as well as the integration of cutting-edge troop and weapon control systems. New regulations of the Belarusian and Russian armies will be tested. Commanding officers and staffs will be able to practice planning military operations meant to stabilize the situation and practice managing troops during the operations.
The first stage of the exercise will take 72 hours. 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 enhanced.
The second stage of the exercise will last for 96 hours. 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.