Russia, Belarus hold “Zapad-2021” training despite criticism of Ukraine


Russia and Belarus are preparing to hold a large-scale cross-border military exercise in September. This will involve about 13,000 troops, Belarusian military officials said.

Future strategic training in Belarus, named Zapad-2021 (West-2021), will involve thousands of military personnel, including soldiers, tanks, cannons and aircraft from Kazakhstan, a Moscow-led defense block member. The ministry then announced in a statement.

“Approximately 12,800 troops will participate in training on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, including 2,500 Russian personnel and up to 50 Kazakh military personnel from the CSTO. [Collective Security Treaty Organization] Belarus’ deputy defense minister, Victor Grevic, said in a briefing, according to a Russian news agency. TASS..

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Military aircraft will fly during a joint Russian-Belarus military exercise Zapad-2017 (West-2017) at a training ground near the town of Barysaw on September 20, 2017. (SergeiGapon / AFP via Getty Images)

“Approximately 400 Belarusian military personnel and more than 30 units of Belarusian military equipment will participate in training on the territory of the Russian Federation,” he added.

This year’s training, which runs from September 10th to 16th, will take place in both Belarus and Russia training grounds. The scale of the exercise will be larger than the previous exercise named “Zapad-2020 (West-2020)”.

“It will be bigger. It will be held here at five test sites in Belarus,” said Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. Said At the time of the announcement of the training, he added that it would be a “huge complex of preparatory measures.”

A provincial official said the strategic exercise was “based on a scenario in which international tensions destabilized the situation in the region and escalated to a level that could trigger an attack on the Allies.” [of Russia and Belarus].. “

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The helicopter flies over military personnel running in a location between Russia and Belarus’ joint military exercise Zapad-2017 (West-2017) at a training ground near the town of Borisov on September 20, 2017. (Sergei Gapon / AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Military personnel will participate in the joint Russian-Belarus military exercise Zapad-2017 (West-2017) at the Luzhsky training ground in the Leningrad region on September 18, 2017. (Vasily Maximov / AFP via Getty Images)

The Padd Exercise, held every four years in both countries, has always been a source of concern for Western military planners and analysts. During training in 2017, some observers feared that Russia could use military exercises to launch a new attack on Ukraine.

In April, after the announcement of The Pad-2021, training was “essentially aggressive” and “for the security of the EuroAtlantic,” said Roman Mashovetz, Deputy Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. It poses a “threat.”

Eastern European countries have repeatedly criticized the exercises, stating that they, like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), are a threat to their security.

Similarly, Belarus’s Grevic replied that the exercise poses no threat “to the entire European Community or to neighboring countries.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

from NTD News

Lorenz Duchamps