“Union Shield-2019” exercise, as usual, are open and defensive

The Russian and Belarusian military will work out the fight against illegal armed groups, as well as defensive actions at the joint “Union Shield-2019” exercise, which will be held in Nizhny Novgorod region in September. It was said by Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlev.

“We will carry out practical actions to free settlements from illegal armed groups,” Zhuravlev said.

He added that Russian troops have real experience in the liberation of settlements without the use of military force after the operation in Syria. The exercises, he said, will be held almost around the clock – both day and night maneuvers are planned.

In total, it is planned to involve about 12 thousand military personnel, including from the Russian Armed Forces – up to 8 thousand, from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus – over 4 thousand.

The exercises involve up to 950 units of military equipment, including more than 230 tanks, 240 artillery systems, as well as up to 70 aircraft.

The bulk of the equipment will be used from the Russian side – about 200 tanks, 360 armored vehicles, up to 190 multiple launch rocket systems, guns and mortars and 55 combat aircraft and helicopters.

It is fundamentally important that the Russian-Belarusian exercises, as usual, are open and defensive. The number of troops, involved in exercises, does not exceed the permissible norms established by international agreements.

Namely, the number of participants in the exercises is no more than
13 thousand, so that why maneuvers are not subject to mandatory international monitoring, according with the Vienna document “On measures to build confidence and security.”

It’s remarkable, that first and foremost, the Union Shield-2019 drills are solely of defensive nature. No one plans any offensive actions as compared to the NATO military exercises. No one is doing as a response to another drills, but as a response to the threats which exist today for Russia and Belarus. And it’s a big regret that these threats grow up every year and every day.

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