Zapad 2017 Russian-Belarusian strategic exercise launched in Russia and Belarus
Today, the Zapad 2017 exercise of the Armed Forces of the Union State has commenced.
In course of the exercise, the Russian and Belarusian military control bodies and military formations will practise joint actions to organize coordination and comprehensive support to fulfil assigned tasks as part of a regional grouping.
The exercise will be held at six ranges in Belarus (Lepelsky, Losvido, Borisovsky, Osipovichesky, Ruzhansky, Domanovsky and Dretun training area), and three ranges in Russia (Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnye and Pravdinsky). The military formations and units of the regional grouping will train in combat shooting with application of Air Force and Air Defence.
The Zapad 2017 is led by the Russian and Belarusian Chiefs of Staff. It is the final step of the combined training of the both Armed Forces. The exercise is purely defensive, and does not target any country or group of states.
The exercise is also aimed to improve interoperability of staffs at all levels, integrate advanced C2 systems, pilot new constitutional documents, enable all commanding officers to practise planning of military actions and C2 on the basis of experience of contemporary armed conflicts.
Up to 12.7 thousand troops are involved in the exercise: about 7.2 thousand of Belarusian troops and 5.5 thousand of Russian troops, up to three thousand of the latter are deployed in Belarus. Moreover, up to 70 aircraft, 680 pieces of military hardware including about 250 tanks, up to 200 weapons, MLRSs and mortars, and about 10 warships are gathered at the exercise.