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20.08.2021 (18:20)

Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation holds briefing on preparation of Zapad 2021 joint strategic exercise

Major General Yevgeny Ilyin, Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the Russian Defence Ministry, spoke at a briefing today about the preparation of Zapad 2021 joint strategic exercise.

He said that in accordance with the Plan of training of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2021, from 16 to 21 September under the leadership of the Chiefs of the General Staffs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Republic of Belarus Zapad 2021 command post exercise will be held.

The exercise is carried out in accordance with the joint decision of the presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and will be the final stage of joint training of the armed forces this year.

A similar strategic exercise took place in western Russia in 2017.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020, strategic exercises and maneuvers were held in the Eastern, Central and Southern Military Districts, respectively.

Preparation for the exercise began in February 2021 with a joint headquarters training of the joint command of the regional group of forces.

In March 2021, a strategic command-post training was held for the central bodies of military command of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

During this period, the command-post training of the Western Military District was also carried out with the involvement of the operational group of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus.

In May, staff negotiations were held with representatives of foreign states participating in the exercise on the territory of the Russian Federation.

In June-August, reconnaissance of the areas of the joint strategic exercise was carried out.  These events were attended by representatives of foreign countries, whose military contingents are involved in Zapad 2021 exercise.

In the course of reconnaissance of the exercise areas, the issues of organizing practical actions of troops were practiced.

In July 2021, a series of special exercises for certain types of support was held.

Topical issues of the participation of foreign military contingents were additionally practiced in the course of large-scale negotiations with partners.

The exercise is aimed at increasing the level of readiness and ability of the military command and control bodies, the troops of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation for joint actions in solving the tasks of ensuring the military security of the Union State, their interaction and field training during the conduct of hostilities.

Based on the results of the exercise, options for joint actions to repel aggression, as well as to preserve the territorial integrity of the Union State, will be practiced.

In addition, a number of specific tasks will be practiced to create, in a short time, a grouping of troops on the basis of military formations ready in peacetime.  Various methods of defensive operations and airborne assault landing will be tested.

Zapad 2021 exercise will be held in two stages at the training grounds of both the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

At the first stage, lasting three days, the Joint Command of the regional grouping of troops of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation will practice the issues of managing formations and military units in the course of repelling aggression against the Republic of Belarus, as well as organizing interaction and support in the interests of solving the assigned tasks.

On the territory of the Republic of Belarus, exercise will be held at the Obuz-Lesnovsky and Brestsky combined-arms training grounds, as well as the Romanovsky and Ruzhansky air training grounds.

During the second stage, lasting four days, the issues of command and control of troops and forces in restoring the territorial integrity of the state will be practice, including with the participation of units of friendly states.

Military command and control bodies, troops of the Western Military District, part of the military command bodies of the Central Military District, Airborne Troops, long-range and military transport aviation, as well as formations of the Baltic Fleet are involved in the exercise.

The military contingents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Serbia and Sri Lanka were invited to participate in the exercise during the second stage on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The armed forces of China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Pakistan and Uzbekistan will be represented by military observers.

In accordance with the agreements, military contingents of foreign states will arrive at Mulino training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod region by September 3, 2021.

It is planned to involve about 200 thousand military personnel, over 80 aircraft and helicopters, up to 760 units of military equipment, including over 290 tanks, over 240 guns, multiple launch rocket systems and mortars, up to 15 ships to participate in the exercise.

At the same time, the maximum number of military personnel involved in maneuvers under a single operational command, falling under the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus will not exceed 6,400 servicemen.

The return of military command and control bodies and troops to their permanent deployment points after participation in the exercise is planned until mid-October of this year.

The concept of the exercise provides that a conditional military-political situation will be used when practicing training issues.  The scenario is based on the situation with the escalation of the conflict between the opposing coalitions of conditional states.

Several educational territorial-state formations have been created on the territory of the Russian Federation.  The conditional state - the Polar Republic - will imitate the actions of the enemy.

It is assumed that, possessing developed armed forces, the enemy is making attempts to force pressure on the Central Federation.  The escalation of tension turns into an armed conflict.

According to the scenario of the exercise, in this situation, the trained command and control bodies, troops and forces will perform combat training missions to repel the strikes of air attack weapons of a mock enemy, conduct reconnaissance, search, defensive and offensive actions to localize an armed conflict and defeat the enemy.

The concept of the exercise does not imply the concretization of the enemy.  The enemy is mock. The development of issues of conducting military operations against any specific states is not provided.

For the practical actions of the troops, it is proposed to use nine training grounds on the territory of the Western Military District: Mulino (Nizhny Novgorod Region), Kirillovsky (Leningrad Region), Strugi Krasnye (Pskov Region), Pogonovo (Voronezh Region), Khmelevka and Pravdinsky (Kaliningrad region), as well as three ground-based aviation ranges: Dobrovolsky (Kaliningrad region), Dorogobuzh (Smolensk region), Volsky (Saratov region).

The practical actions of the general naval forces will be held in the southern part of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland.

As the exercise was being prepared, information about it was posted in advance on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defence, disseminated by Russian and Belarusian news agencies, as well as foreign media.

The Russian Ministry of Defense is strictly guided by the principles of maximum transparency when conducting combat training events.  The exercise will also be covered on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defence and in the Media.  It is planned to invite representatives of the military-diplomatic corps accredited in the Russian Federation as observers to the active phase.  This stage will be carried out at the Mulino training ground.

Major General Yevgeny Ilyin emphasized that Zapad 2021 exercise is purely defensive in nature and is aimed at training troops in the conduct of hostilities in modern conditions and increasing the interoperability of the military command and control bodies of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, allies and friendly states.

I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that within the framework of the Russian voluntary initiative to remove the areas of large-scale exercises from the Russia-NATO contact line, the main practical actions of the troops will be carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation at a considerable distance from the western border of the state.

Based on the results of the exercise, information will also be brought to the attention of the military attaches.

Directorate of Media service and Information
Главное управление международного военного сотрудничества Минобороны России , ССУ «Запад-2021»
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