Russian troops returning from Belarus after Zapad-2021 drills — top brass

According to the Defense Ministry, during the re-deployment the military units carried out anti-aircraft defenses, fighting sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the conventional enemy, as well as conducting marches

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. The military units of the Western Military District, Russian Airborne and Aerospace Forces are returning to their permanent bases from the Obuz-Lesnovsky and the Brestsky (Belarus) proving grounds after completing the Zapad-2021strategic exercise, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

“The military units, the Guards Tank army formations, and the Airborne Forces march to railway stations and airfields where they carry out loading on railway platforms and military transport aircraft. The engineering personnel have initiated the preparation of aviation equipment for flights to airfields in Russia”, the ministry said.

According to the Ministry, during the re-deployment the military units carried out anti-aircraft defenses, fighting sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the conventional enemy, as well as conducting marches. The Il-76, Tu-22M3, Su-35S, Su-30SM, Su-34 planes, the Ka-52, Mi-28N, Mi-35, Mi-24, Mi-8 combat helicopters of various modifications involved in different episodes of the drills will be relocated to the permanent airfields in the near future.

Zapad-2021 strategic exercise

Russia and Belarus hold a strategic exercise once every two years. Zapad-2021 was the closing stage of this year’s joint military training. The two countries' forces conducted drills on September 10-16 at nine sites in Russia, in the Baltic Sea, and at five sites in Belarus.

Involved in the drills were up to 200,000 troops, 80 planes and helicopters, 760 combat vehicles, including 290 tanks, 240 artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers and 15 ships.

The maximum number of personnel participating in the exercise subject to the Vienna Document of 2011 in the territory of Russia did not exceed 6,400. All command centers and forces are to be back to their permanent location by the middle of October.

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