The Zapad-2021 maneuver opening ceremony was held at the Belarussian military training ground. The Ministry of Defense in Minsk announced that Russia’s deputy defense ministers Junus-biek Yevkurov and Belarus Viktar Hulevich took part in it.
Viktar Hulewicz, who led the exercises, said that the Zapad-2021 maneuvers “will show a high degree of readiness of the armies of both countries to joint actions in the field of defense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the federal state (Belarus and Russia – ed.)”.
– This will be a kind of signal to the collective West that talks from a position of force with the peoples of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization have no prospects. Whatever the West may say, these maneuvers are part of military training. The army should prepare to defend its borders – indicated Hulewicz, quoted by the Interfax-West agency.
He added that Belarus is open to all OSCE countries, and “the maneuvers pose no threat to the entire European community, nor to neighboring countries.”
The active phase of the maneuvers will take place on September 10-16 in the territory of Belarus (five training grounds) and Russia (nine training grounds and the Baltic Sea region).
The Ministry of Defense in Moscow announced that approximately 200,000 soldiers and 80 aircraft and helicopters would take part in this year’s maneuvers. 760 units of equipment will be involved, including 290 tanks and 15 ships.
12.8 thousand military personnel, including 2.5 thousand Russians, are to take part in the Belarusian part of the exercise. 50 soldiers from Kazakhstan will also participate in them. In Belarus, the exercises will take place on training grounds in the Brest Oblast in the western part of the country, including near the border with Poland. These are the following training grounds: Obóz-Lesnowski, Domanowski, Brzeski and the Różański airfield.
In Russia, the exercise site will be the Western Military District. It includes the Kaliningrad Oblast bordering Poland, regions bordering Belarus, the center of the European part of the country with Moscow, and the northwest with St. Petersburg.
“DGP” about the provocation during the Zapad-21 maneuvers. General Skrzypczak: very likely
In early September, “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, citing sources familiar with the case, wrote that during the During the Zapad-21 maneuver, Belarusian troops may invade several kilometers deep into Lithuania“As the newspaper added,” NATO is preparing for such an eventuality. “Each installment of the Collapse involves a propaganda war and an attempt to scare the Alliance. We are aware of this. This year, we are also seriously considering the option of testing NATO by Russia through Alyaksandr Lukashenka, “DGP sources said.
He was asked about these reports on September 2 in an interview with TVN24 General Waldemar Skrzypczak, former commander of the land forces. – It may be part of a provocation that is being prepared against Poland and against Lithuania. This operation is basically already underway and, of course, as part of the exercise, a selected sub-unit may “make a mistake” and cross the border, for example in Lithuania or Poland – said the TVN24 guest.
– It will be a planned action by (Alyaksandra – ed.) Lukashenka and (Vladimir – ed.) Putin. They want to provoke, they want to provoke us to some uncontrolled reaction that may trigger a local conflict. Such an action should not be ruled out, and it seems that what the intelligence services report is very likely, he assessed.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY HANDOUT