Oleg Belokonev, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, positively assessed the results of the first stage of the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise “Union Shield-2019”, the Belarus’ Ministry of Defence reported on Monday on its website.
“The first stage of the joint operational exercise of the armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation “Union Shield-2019 ” was completed at the Mulino training ground. The governing bodies showed a high ability to manage subordinate units in the course of fulfilling their mission in difficult conditions,” the statement emphasizes.
Chief of the General Staff, Belarusian First Deputy Defense Minister Oleg Belokonev, who is in charge of overseeing the exercise, said: “Today we’ve started the second stage of the exercise, which will focus on practical actions, on the implementation of the decisions and steps we made during the first stage. The army units will have to practice defensive action in assigned positions, continue stabilizing the situation, organizing interaction, support, and logistics. Command and control units will continue giving orders to subordinate units in a complicated environment. I believe the main goal of the event will be reached. We will get some practice of working together with the Armed Forces of Russia to ensure the military security of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.”
Belokonev also said that “military units fairly confidently carried out a set of measures to search, block, destroy illegal armed groups and sabotage and reconnaissance groups, to stabilize the situation in the designated areas of responsibility.”
Joint exercise of the armed forces of the two countries takes place at the Mulino training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The Union Shield-2019 drills are set to involve a total of 12,000 troops and 950 pieces of military equipment, including combat vehicles, aircraft and helicopters. OSCE member states have been notified about it in line with the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures. The Belarusian army is represented by over 4,000 military personnel, more than 30 tanks, 80 armored fighting vehicles, about 50 MLRS, artillery, and mortar units as well as aircraft and helicopters.