Russia has confirmed that President Vladimir Putin will observe the Zapad military drills which are already under way. The Zapad or ‘west’ drills will take place in three western regions of Russia included the Leningrad region as well as in parts of Belarus which forms an allied Union State with the Russian Federation.
The defensive readiness drills take place ever four years with previous exercises occurring in 2009 and 2013.
Commenting on the President’s attendance, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated,
“It is a regular visit to a large-scale exercise. Putin always attends it as the country’s supreme commander-in-chief”.
The drills will be conducted by 12,700 troops of which 7,200 are from Belarus and 5,500 are from Russia.
This hasn’t stopped others fro wildly exaggerating the nature of the regularly occurring drills. German has falsely claimed that 100,000 troops will be participating in the drills while the Ukrainian regime has stated an even more absurd figure of 240,000.
Far from being ‘surprise’ or ‘secretive’ drills, the long scheduled drills are widely filmed and photographed. The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko said he welcomes international observers. In a statement Lukashenko added,
“We are not planning to attack anyone. In terms of what the drills will be like – we’ve invited almost anyone who wants to attend. Let them come and watch”.
The drills are designed to test the readiness of Russian and Belorussian forces in respect of their ability to conbat either traditional military attacks, guerrilla attacks and/or terrorist attacks.
The drills continue through the 20th of September.