The numbers are not credible
“The West” is the latest in a series of closed four-year cycles of Russian military exercises, Episkopos explains. He recalls that last year the “Caucasus” maneuvers took place, in 2019 the “Middle” and in 2018 the “East”.
“Although these exercises are primarily a means of assessing the combat readiness of four Russian military circuits – Western, Eastern, Central, and Southern, respectively, they regularly portray their local participants in what they currently embody., “writes the author of the comment.
This year’s “West” exercise is taking place in fourteen training facilities in Russia and Belarus, with the Belarusian Ministry of Defense saying 12,800 Russian and Belarusian troops will be involved, the historian outlines. He adds that 400 members of the Belarusian army are to train on Russian territory.
Episkopos mentions the opinion of the security expert Michael Kofman that the mentioned numbers do not correspond to the facts and that the exercise in Belarus will obviously be attended by many more Russian soldiers. This may be due to the fact that the organizers are trying to avoid the obligation to invite observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, imposed by the Vienna Convention for all military exercises with more than 13,000 soldiers, explains the publicist.
According to the official number, the exercise will also be attended by 250 pieces of military equipment, including 140 tanks, 110 artillery and missile systems and several dozen aircraft and helicopters, according to Episkopos. He adds that the exercise will take place between September 10 and 16.
The Russian and Belarusian authorities are silent about the scope and nature of the exercise, only suggesting that it will be a joint maneuver aimed at repelling an imaginary strike by NATO troops, the historian states. He again mentions Michael Kofman’s view that this type of exercise usually involves two distinct phases: the first tests the ability to mobilize and deploy active and reserve units during the first days of imaginary aggression of the North Atlantic Alliance, and the second a full range of Russian countermeasures to stop and defeat the Western offensive. .
Alarmism is out of place
“If the experience with (Exercise) “West 2017” provides any guidance, the maneuvers will include the deployment of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system against simulated flat-missile strikes, helicopter attacks on ground targets, armor convoys and Iskander short-range ballistic missile training. -M“The author of the commentary continues. He emphasizes that training a large, conventional war with NATO is probably not the only or primary goal, because a large part of the maneuvers will take place in an urban environment.
Experts deduce from this that the exercise is in fact focused on hybrid warfare and the suppression of domestic unrest, Episkopos explains. He added that Russia’s western neighbors, notably Poland, Latvia and Ukraine, expressed significant security concerns about the maneuvers.
- You can read the comment in the original version here.
The catastrophic warnings of NATO’s Eastern and Central European countries are largely reminiscent of the alarmist rhetoric that accompanied the “West” exercise four years ago, but as then, there is no indication that the Kremlin intends to use the exercise as a cover for military aggression or intervention. Rather, he sees the event as a loud confirmation of the rapidly deepening relations between Moscow and Minsk, which is not limited to the military.
The reason for such a development is that Episkopos identifies the acute political crisis of the Belarusian Lukashenko regime, which began in the summer of 2020 and its reverberations can be felt to this day.
Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.
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