The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has started to publicise Exercise ZAPAD-2017 taking place in Belarus, the Russian Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic and Russia’s north-west border regions.
According to official Federation communiqués, some 13,000 Russian and Belarussian troops are participating in the ZAPAD manoeuvres, mostly being held on military training areas close to NATO’s north-east flank. This was the first statement issued:-
Airborne units to demonstrate efficient landing at unfamiliar training areas.
“Today [Thursday 14th] the Pskov Airborne Assault units together with Tula and Ivanovo Airborne formations received operational tasks to arrive at designated ranges in the Pskov, Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions where they are to receive a follow-up objective to regroup.
“Currently the forward groups have left to conduct reconnaissance of assigned areas of upcoming training. The headquarters have started to organise control in course of counterterrorism situation.
“Preliminary missions have been assigned to commanding officers of the units involved to be standby for rapid airlift to any place. Besides when specifying in training areas, the HQs will use intel operationally received from drones attached to the units.”