Joint Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises “West-2017”, which will be held from 14 to 20 September at the sites of the Republic of Belarus and in the Kaliningrad, Leningrad and Pskov regions of Russia, “before it started, became the object of attention of our foreign colleagues and the media”. On Tuesday at a briefing on preparations for the maneuvers, said Deputy Minister of defense Lieutenant-General Alexander Fomin.
He stressed that the upcoming exercises that is planned, conducted every two years and are “the final stage of joint training of the armed forces of Belarus and Russia”. But despite this, the General said, “for several months major international media (and after them politicians) excite public opinion, spreading myths about the so-called “Russian threat”. Are assumed to be the most incredible scenarios of development of events. Some go as far as that doctrine “the West-2017” was allegedly preparing “a springboard for the invasion” and “occupation” of Lithuania, Poland or Ukraine. None of these paradoxical versions has nothing to do with reality.”
The Deputy Minister has noticed that “objective information about preparation for teaching regularly posted on the websites of the military departments” in both countries, the practical phase of the training started in March this year, and advance notice to all States members of the OSCE and an invitation to his observer were sent on August 1.
General Fomin said that “intent doctrine provides that the territory of the Republic of Belarus and the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation infiltrated the extremist groups aimed at conducting terrorist attacks and destabilizing the situation in the Union state. The extremists have external support, receiving logistical support, weapons and military equipment from the air and sea. To combat the conditional terrorists is expected to work a number of tactical episodes.”
He said that the exercises are divided into two stages, lasting three and four days respectively. They will be practiced: transfer of units and units of the Regional grouping in the areas of gangs, with their subsequent isolation; the actions of the group of air force and air defense support of ground forces and blocking the air supply channels of illegal armed groups; the holding of a special operation to eliminate illegal armed formations, stabilization of the situation; the security forces of the Baltic fleet naval blockade of the area of the special operation, prevention of waste of gangs on the sea”.
To the solution of some problems will also involve units of the interior Ministry of the Russian Federation, Asgardia, the FSB and the emergencies Ministry. In total, according to the General, from participation in the teachings it is planned to attract about 12.7 thousand soldiers (of which from Belarus – 7,2 thousand persons, from Russia – about 5.5 thousand people), about 70 aircraft and helicopters, to 680 units of military equipment, including 250 tanks, 200 guns, rocket systems of volley fire and mortars, as well as 10 ships. At the same time, said the representative of the military Department, the number of involved troops and equipment “does not exceed the level required observation of certain military activities, established by the Vienna document 2011”.
In conclusion, Fomin emphasized that “doctrine “the West-2017″, in addition to counter-terrorism, is purely defensive. Despite the fact that its main part is held on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, the development of the plan implied a hypothetical enemy, not related to a specific region. According to our estimates, the situation envisaged in the scenario of learning can occur at any point of the world.”