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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, Russia’s Western Military District said on September 13.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry said it had sent 4,000 soldiers, more than 30 tanks, 80 armored vehicles, 50 multiple rocket launchers, and about 15 aircraft and helicopters.
During the second phase of the exercises, troops will search and eliminate hypothetical saboteurs and illegal armed groups, a statement said.
In August, the chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian armed forces, First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Aleh Belokonev, said the exercise would be held “deep inside the territory of the Russian Federation and not at practice ranges near [EU] borders” in order to “avoid the escalation of the situation in Europe.”
Belarus and Russia are joined in a union state that exists mainly on paper, and the two countries hold joint military exercises that regularly engage the West’s attention.
The Union Shield drills are carried out every two years alternately on the territory of Russia and Belarus. Union Shield 2017 was held in Belarus and involved some 12,700 troops.
The decision is taken to avoid the escalation of tension in Europe
Russia and Belarus will hold their Union Shield 2019 military exercise deep inside Russia’s territory and far away from the EU borders, Chief of the Belarusian General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Oleg Belokonev said on Wednesday.
“Although NATO’s Allied Forces have boosted the number of military
drills in Eastern Europe near the borders of the [Russia-Belarus] Union
State, the Union Shield 2019 joint drills will take place deep inside
the territory of the Russian Federation and not at practice ranges near
the borders,” the chief of the Belarusian General Staff told a press
briefing on the upcoming maneuvers.
This decision was taken to avoid the escalation of tension in Europe, he stressed.
“This has been done on purpose, in order to avoid the escalation of
the situation in Europe, which once again confirms the desire of Belarus
and Russia to reduce tensions in the region,” he pointed out.
upcoming Union Shield 2019 operational exercise will conclude the
two-year cycle of the joint training of the Russian and Belarusian
troops and is of planned nature, the chief of Belarus’ General Staff
In accordance with the decision by the heads of the two states, the
drills are held once every two years alternately on the territory of
Russia and Belarus, the general stated.
The exercise’s scenario takes into account the analysis of possible
threats to the Union State and the risks of an armed conflict, he
“Practice shows that, as a rule, everything begins from operations by
terrorists, separatists or illegal armed formations that get external
support of third forces. Precisely this scenario will be used during the
upcoming exercise,” the Belarusian general stressed.
Union Shield 2019 exercise
The numerical strength of the troops and military hardware that will
be involved in the upcoming military exercise “does not exceed the level
that has to be observed in compliance with various arms control
treaties,” the general said.
“The Union Shield 2019 exercise is set to involve about 12,000
troops, up to 950 weapon systems, and also up to 70 aircraft and
helicopters, about which the Russian side has timely notified the OSCE
member states under the 2011 Vienna document,” he reported.
Belarus will use over 4,000 personnel, more than 30 tanks, 80 armored
combat vehicles, about 50 multiple launch rocket systems, guns and
mortars, as well as around 15 aircraft and helicopters at the joint
maneuvers in Russia, he noted.
The troops will be accomplishing a wide range of assignments during
the joint drills — from providing cover for the state border and
fighting illegal armed formations to conducting defensive operations and
stabilizing the situation, the Belarusian general said.
Before the Union Shield 2019 drills kick off, special tactical
exercises will have to be held for engineering units from the Russian
and Belarusian armies, along with an instructional methods exercise with
the commanding and directing staff and a general instructional
exercise, he added.
The Union Shield 2019 operational exercise will take place at the Mulino range in the Nizhny Novgorod Region on September 13-19.
Units of the Northwestern Operational Command and special operations forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus are about to finish preparations for the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Union Shield 2019, representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry told. The units are now in the field polishing their skills of loading and unloading hardware to and from railway trains. They are also practicing the driving of combat vehicles, including across water obstacles and at night. Final readiness inspections and the relocation of the troops to the exercise area will be the next step. The army exercise is scheduled to take place in the Mulino exercise area of the Western Military District of the Russian army in Nizhny Novgorod on 13-19 September. It will represent the final stage in the two-year cycle of joint combat training of Belarusian and Russian army units.
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
will carry out practical actions to free settlements from illegal
armed groups,” Zhuravlev said.
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.
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.
exercises involve up to 950 units of military equipment, including
more than 230 tanks, 240 artillery systems, as well as up to 70
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.
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
the number of participants in the exercises is no more than
thousand, so that why maneuvers are not subject to mandatory
international monitoring, according with the Vienna document “On
measures to build confidence and security.”
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.
A multinational military exercise to better meld Georgia’s armed forces with that of NATO’s came to an end on Friday.
More than 3,000 military servicemen from 14 NATO member and partner countries, including the United States, Britain, Latvia and Norway, had participated “Agile Spirit 2019” since July 27, according to the Georgian Defense Ministry.
“Such exercises make Georgia’s NATO membership even more realistic, and we are getting closer to our declared principle, to see more NATO in Georgia and more Georgia in NATO,” said Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze at the closing ceremony.
The joint exercise had helped to further strengthen the interoperability of Georgia with the United States and its partner countries and to maintain a stable and secure environment in the Black Sea region, Bakhtadze said in his speech.
The drill was conducted under the leadership of the West Command of Georgian Defense Forces and the U.S. European Command in three locations: Senaki, Orpolo and Vaziani fire ranges. Enditem
Russian officials have disclosed that they’ve moved a coastal missile system to a new location on Russia’s Sredny Peninsula in the far north. The new location is so close to Norway that it can be seen on clear days from Vardø, the northeastern Norwegian town that’s also home to a controversial radar and surveillance system run by Norway’s intelligence agency.
The placement, first reported by the Kirkenes-based Barents Observer, is believed to be another response by the Russians to Norway’s and NATO’s recent military exercises and the radar system at Vardø. Russia doesn’t like an increased American presence in Norway, especially in Northern Norway, where US troops have been training with NATO troops. State broadcaster NRK has also reported the arrival of some US military personnel and their families in Vardø.
for the joint Russian-Belarusian operational exercise “Union Shield
– 2019” continues. Event is aimed to help check the quality and
level of combat readiness of the regional group of troops, to see the
real capabilities of weapons and the ability to carry out combat
It should be said that Russia and Belarus provide the unprecedented openness and transparency in preparing and organizing the event. Thus, the Commander of the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Zhuravlyov in his detailed interview to journalists gives full information about the upcoming exercise.
exercise is reported to involve 12 thousand soldiers, 950 vehicles of
a variety of types along with 70 aircraft.
“Union Shield 2019” exercise is going to take place within
the period between 13th and 19th September 2019, under the command of
Commander of the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the
Russian Federation and Belarus Chief Of
General Staff in the Western MD Combat Training Centre in the village
Mulino of the Nizhniy Novgorod region. Though only 12 thousand troops
are involved in the exercise, organizers invite observers to show the
about the features
of the exercise in comparison with the previous maneuvers “Union
Shield – 2017”,
that this year training is bigger. Russia and Belarus provide more
participants, equipment and weapons. Throughout the entire period of
the exercise the troops will act both day and night.
“To a certain extent, we can talk about the uniqueness of the joint operational exercises “Union Shield – 2019,” said Colonel-General. At the same time, planned combat training was organized in the district – all three armies, formations and units are located on the ranges, where various exercises are held in increasing order. One training smoothly passes into another, tasks are solved in an integrated manner.