Preparations For Zapad-2021 Strategic Drills Kick Off

A joint staff exercise in preparations for the Zapad-2021 (Russian for 'West-2021') strategic drill starts today at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence announced on Monday.

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"On February 8-12, representatives of the armed forces of Belarus and Russia in the united command will practice measures at stationary command posts to use one of the options of employing the grouping of forces (troops) in an operation of the regional group of forces (troops)," the Belarusian Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, the scenario of the strategic military exercise envisages a possible escalation of the military and political situation against a notional state.

This exercise is a fundamental part of a set of joint measures to prepare for the joint strategic military exercise Zapad-2021, which will be held on 10-16 September 2021 on five training grounds in Belarus and Russia.

Following the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, AI elements will be used in combat training of Zapad-2021.

"Including robotic vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and automated control and command systems. Such weapons can increase the combat capability of units several times over and will largely determine the outcome of hostilities today and in the near future. In addition, new approaches to using the Union State’s regional group must be tested during the upcoming Zapad 2021 (West) exercises," Putin said last December at the annual expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board.

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