MOSCOW, MINSK, (BM) – Belarus and Russia plan to conduct joint “Zapad-2021” [West-2021, Eng. – ed.] strategic exercises in September next year, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. These maneuvers are carried out by both countries in a cyclical system every four years, and the last edition took place in 2017.
This information was provided by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Army General Sergei Shoygu, during a teleconference. The head of the Russian defense ministry emphasized that the purpose of the exercises was to strengthen the Union State of Russia and Belarus’s military security. Additionally, they will also allow for comprehensive testing of the Belarusian and Russian armed forces’ efficiency and capabilities.
“I would like to point out that the strict implementation of the training plans will allow the troops to maintain a high level of combat capability and adequately respond to possible aggravations of the military and political situation.” That announces the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Army General Sergei Shoigu.
Simultaneously, the Russian defense ministry has announced that it will continue preparations for the next edition of the International Military Games. The latest edition will include two new competitions – one in the field of military tactical shooting and Meridian for military topographers. The nationwide competition is to introduce a match for the deployment of a field hospital.
The last edition of these exercises, i.e., Zapad-2017, took place on September 14-20, 2017, at six training grounds in Belarus and three in Russia. According to official information, 12,700 soldiers and 700 units of equipment from both countries took part in them. Unofficially, however, as many as 90-100,000 soldiers and thousands of heavy military equipment could take part in these exercises. As part of these maneuvers, the Belarusian and Russian armies tested such capabilities as massive air and missile strikes, rapid troop transfers, joint operations, joint air defense, unconventional operations, the use of weapons of mass destruction, and information operations.
Each edition of these exercises and the scope of tasks carried out as part of them are of substantial concern to the Western neighbors of both these countries, especially those from the eastern flank of NATO and the entire North Atlantic Alliance. For this reason, they are closely watched and followed by the international community due to the potential risk of taking actions destabilizing the situation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Russian and Pakistani special forces in joint anti-terrorist exercises
Special forces from Pakistan and special forces from Russia are to be at the fore of changes in the military cooperation of both countries. On November 8, took place bilateral special forces exercises begin, aimed at exchanging experiences in the field of anti-terrorist and counter-terrorist activities, as we reported.
They [the exercises – ed.] are symptomatically referred to as “Przyjazn-2020 / Przyjazn-5”, creating in the first place a framework for cooperation between the special forces and Pakistani commandos. However, it cannot be denied that it is also supposed to be an expression of the rapprochement between the two countries, which started in 2016, when the “Friendship” exercises were launched. So far, two editions have been held in Russia, and the current one will be held in Pakistan.
The Pakistani press emphasizes that both Islamabad and Moscow treat them on a long-term basis, primarily seeking to deepen military relations. This is another signal of an important change in Pakistan’s strategic priorities in the area of defense and security.
Pakistanis shared their experiences from special operations conducted in the areas where terrorists from Tehreek e Taliban TTP operate. The existing rich know-how in the field of operations in tribal areas in remote and remote areas, where the Pakistani army may expect hostility towards its actions, was of particular importance. Pakistani representatives also unveiled to the Russians their own capabilities for tracking and infiltrating terrorist groups.
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