In Belarus today, September 14, begin a joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises Zapad-2017. About it reports Radio Freedom.
“Belarus and Russia in 2009 decided to restore these teachings, although the potential enemy is not called. They’re held every two years alternately in Belarus and Russia – in 2015 there were no such exercises,” the report says.
According to the Belarusian Ministry of defense, on the territory of Belarus exercises will be held at seven landfills and in two separate localities, will take part in 10 thousand 200 soldiers, of whom seven thousand from Belarusian units, three thousand – Russian.
The defense Ministry of Belarus stressed the defensive nature of the exercises Zapad-2017 and said that all Russian military who take part in them, will leave Belarusian territory until 30 September.
Head of Department of international military cooperation of the defense Ministry of Belarus Oleg Voinov noted, the exercises are deliberately removed from the adjacent territories of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
How will the exercises, the Belarusian defense Ministry promises to report every day at briefings and press releases. 280 accredited journalists, mainly foreign mass media invited 80 observers, including from Ukraine and NATO countries.
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West-2017 – joint strategic exercises of the armies of Russia and Belarus, will be held from 14 to 20 September. The Russian military began to arrive in Belarus in late July. Officially announced the participation of up to 13 thousand military, anecdotal evidence suggests a much larger group of troops up to 100 thousand people. The exercises will be held in two stages – in Russia and at seven landfills in Belarus.
See also special project LIGA.net: War-2017
The Kremlin is likely to leave the military in Belarus, according to the General staff of the armed forces. NATO suspects that Moscow may use the exercises as a “Trojan horse.”
Interview with Muzhenko: Exercises Zapad-2017 are offensive in nature