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Analyses Last Updated: Sep 6, 2019 - 4:22:10 PM


Military Exercises as Geopolitical Tools
By Nataliya Bugayova and Mason Clark, ISW 4/9/19
Sep 5, 2019 - 3:16:09 PM

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Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government’s objectives and its efforts to secure them. Receive future Russia in Review INTSUM products via-email by signing up for the ISW mailing list.

Key Takeaways: The Kremlin is attempting to expand Russia’s security orbit. Russia will conduct two major military exercises in September — the Union Shield 2019 exercise with Belarus and the Center 2019 exercise with China, India, Pakistan and the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russia will use these exercises to demonstrate its ability to operate militarily on multiple borders and deepen ties with key states in South and East Asia. Russia will also incorporate its lessons learned from its military intervention in Syria into the exercises. These types of exercises support Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal to establish suzerainty over the now independent states of the former Soviet Union – an effort that is advancing in Belarus and Moldova. Union Shield 2019 explicitly aims to practice defending the Union State, a planned but not yet implemented federation-type entity that would ensure the allegiance of Belarus to Russia. Moldova is considering Russia’s offer of a three-year military cooperation agreement – an indicator that Russia’s plan to expand its influence is succeeding. The Kremlin is also attempting to grow security ties with other neighbors, including Mongolia.

Russia likely intends to signal and test its military capabilities to operate on multiple fronts, specifically in its Western, Southern and Northern regions. The two exercises differ in scope but they both focus on countering non-conventional military threats to Russia and the former Soviet Union. Russia hosted another set of exercises in the Southern Military District in July 2019 focused on demonstrating operational capabilities in the Russian Caucasus.[1]




Russia is engaged in a campaign of military learning and seeks to practice specific skills during these exercises.

Russian military exercises increasingly emphasize the inclusion of partner forces to practice coalition operations and coordination with foreign militaries, as Russia implements lessons learned operating alongside Iran, the Bashar al-Assad regime and other actors in Syria.[2] The Union Shield 2019 and Center 2019 exercises intend to demonstrate Russia’s efforts to build interoperability with the former Soviet states and to engage major Asian players including India, Pakistan, and China.[3]

Russia is focusing on developing initiative and creativity in junior officers, emphasizing the need to make unconventional decisions in combat.[4] Russian officers with theater command experience in Syria have stressed the need to increase decision-making flexibility.[5] The Union Shield exercise emphasizes non-standard approaches in combatting insurgencies.[6]

Russia is emphasizing the ability to conduct rapid redeployments over long distances. A stated goal of Belarusian participation in the Union Shield exercise is to give Belarusian forces experience conducting long distance redeployments.[7] Russia is working to increase the maneuverability of its own and partner forces.

Both exercises will practice defending against non-conventional threats. Center 2019 will practice counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia. Union Shield 2019 will practice defending against illegal armed formations that aim to destabilize the Union State. Belarusian Chief of the General Staff Oleh Belokonev stated that “conflicts usually start with actions of terrorists, separatists, and illegal armed formations with support of outside forces.”[8] Russian military officials also stated that Union Shield 2019 will use the Syrian experience of “clearing inhabited locations without using force.”[9] Union Shield 2019 takes place away from the Russian border, which Russia framed as an effort to reduce regional tensions and avoid antagonizing NATO.[10] Russia might have chosen this location to potentially also practice offensive hybrid scenarios.

Russia seeks to increase its military flexibility in Central Asia and the Arctic region. Russian officials have emphasized the need to increase their security focus on Central Asia, citing concerns about the “spread of militants from Afghanistan into the former Soviet countries in Central Asia.”[11] Russia has legitimate concerns, particularly as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) expands its global presence.[12] The Kremlin, however, also likely seeks to balance American and Chinese influence in Central Asia, especially as Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan undergo leadership changes.[13] Russia might also seek to expand its military footprint in Central Asia and pull Central Asian militaries closer into its security orbit. Russia is also increasingly prioritizing the Arctic. ISW has assessed that the Kremlin intends to expand its military presence and operational flexibility in the Arctic to support a long-term bid to secure resources and gain a strategic advantage over the U.S. and China.[14] Center 2019 will include two motorized rifle brigades testing new Arctic-optimized vehicles and focusing on developing logistical and technical support for Arctic operations, in addition to airborne and Special Forces training in the Arctic along the Northern Sea Route.[15]

The exercises are part of the Kremlin’s broader campaign to establish Russian suzerainty over the former Soviet Union.[16]

Russia likely intends to exploit the Union Shield exercise to expand the Russian military’s control over Belarussian forces. The Union Shield 2019 exercise explicitly intends to practice defense of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a planned but not yet implemented federation-type state that would ensure Belarus’ long-term allegiance to Russia.[17] The exercises are the final stage of a two-year cycle of joint combat training between the Russian and Belarusian militaries – another potential indicator of the Kremlin’s efforts to expand control over Belarusian Armed Forces.[18] The Kremlin initiated the process of updating the Union State military doctrine in late 2018.[19] ISW forecasted that Russia would expand its influence in Belarus and its armed forces through the Union State mechanism.[20] Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues to attempt to resist Russian pressure, calling for a reset of ties with the U.S. during U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton’s trip to Belarus on August 29.[21] Lukashenko is also reportedly seeking to purchase oil from American suppliers to diversify energy supplies away from Russia.[22]

Russia is also successfully regaining influence in Moldova, where it seeks a military cooperation deal. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested a three-year military cooperation plan during his unofficial visit to Moldova on August 24, the first time a Russian senior military official visited Moldova in several years.[23] Moldovan President Igor Dodon stated that he will likely invite Shoigu to Moldova for an official visit to discuss a cooperation plan in detail. A military deal between Russia and Moldova would mark progress in the Kremlin’s campaign to expand its influence in Moldova after it suffered setbacks in recent years.[24] ISW forecasted that the Kremlin would exploit Russia’s nominal alignment with the West on Moldova’s formation of a coalition government in June 2019. Russia facilitated that formation process to strengthen Russia-friendly actors inside of Moldova and expand its influence.[25] Dodon also stated on August 26 that Moldova is unlikely to join the EU.[26] Dodon reiterated that Moldova will not choose one side over the other, but military cooperation with Russia would change that status quo.

The Kremlin is attempting to deepen military cooperation with other neighboring and nearby states, such as Armenia and Mongolia. Russia solicited additional support from Armenia on August 13 for its operations in Syria. Russia has facilitated deployments of Armenian engineering troops and humanitarian workers to Syria since February 2019.[27] Russia is deepening military cooperation with Mongolia.[28] Russia and Mongolia signed a treaty on a comprehensive strategic partnership on September 3 following a visit by Putin to Mongolia.[29] Both Shoigu and Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov emphasized Russia’s intent to expand military ties with Mongolia over the past year.[30] Russia and Mongolia held the Selenga 2019 joint drills from August 15-24 that reportedly engaged 1,000 troops from Russia’s Eastern Military District and about the same number of personnel from Mongolia.[31]

The Kremlin intends to demonstrate its ability to engage major players in Asia beyond the post-Soviet space.[32] In contrast, Kazakhstan was the only international participant in Center 2015.[33] Russia recently hosted the 2019 International Army Games with a similar set of countries.[34] Russia will likely leverage its ability to include both India and Pakistan – whose relations have deteriorated further over the issue of Kashmir – in the Center 2019 exercise to frame the Kremlin as a peacemaker and mediator.[35] Russia is building out its military relationship with China while pursuing a parallel goal of counterbalancing China. Russia likely aims to signal to the U.S. and its allies, including Japan, that it has the ability to wield strengthened Russian-Chinese military cooperation to its advantage. Russia is also building connections between its partners. Russia held the Defenders of Friendship 2019 Airborne Forces exercise with Egypt (a historical U.S. partner) from August 19-28, engaging Belarus in the exercises for the first time.[36]

Russia seeks to boost its arms exports through the exercises. The Russian Defense Ministry emphasized that Russia’s most modern equipment would be used in both drills.[37] Russia is finalizing several deals to sell aircraft to the Indian Air Force, following the establishment of a joint factory in India to produce Kalashnikov rifles in March 2019.[38] Russia is in the process of marketing its advanced Su-57 fighter jets to China, South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Brazil.[39] The Kremlin commonly utilizes internationally observed drills and arms expos to market equipment to foreign buyers.[40] Turkish President Erdogan expressed his interest in purchasing the Su-57 during Russia’s MAKS-2019 air show on August 27.[41]

The Kremlin will attempt to expand and link its security partnerships in a broader effort to create a constellation of alliances that gravitate toward Russia. The Kremlin is working to expand and potentially link its military influence in its closest orbit – within and among Belarus, Moldova, and the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.[42] The Kremlin is simultaneously attempting to expand its security orbit further through engaging major actors in East and South Asia. Russia might use a variety of its unifying tools – including military doctrine, joint exercises and games, the export of weapon systems and of Russian military education, and a call for fighting terrorist threats multilaterally – to cohere these informal networks as both a counterbalance to the U.S (and, increasingly, China) and a tool of Russia’s global legitimacy.

Table - Russia’s Overview of its 2019 Union Shield[43] and Center[44] military exercises:


---
[1] “Two Russian Armies Kickoff Military Exercises Ahead of NATO Drills in Georgia,” Al-Masdar News, July 24, 2019, https://www.almasdarnews(.)com/article/two-russian-armies-kickoff-military-exercises-ahead-of-nato-drills-in-georgia/.
[2] Natalia Balkanska, [“The Defense Ministry Revealed the Timing and Scope of Strategic Exercises ‘Center-2019,’”] TV Zvezda, August 20, 2019, https://tvzvezda(.)ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html; Catherine Harris and Mason Clark, “Russia in Review: Russia’s Lessons Learned in Syria,” The Institute for the Study of War, November 9, 2018, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/11/russia-in-review-russias-lessons.html.
[3] Natalia Balkanska, [“The Defense Ministry Revealed the Timing and Scope of Strategic Exercises ‘Center-2019,’”] TV Zvezda, August 20, 2019, https://tvzvezda(.)ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html.
[4] [“More Than 10 Exercises Involving More Than 5,000 Troops will be Held Simultaneously in the South of Russia,”] TASS, August 27, 2019, https://tass((.))ru/armiya-i-opk/6802592.
[5] Alexander Dvornikov, [“Staffs for New Wars,”] VPK, July 23, 2018, https://vpk-news(.)ru/articles/43971; Alexander Lapin, [“Syrian Academy,”] VPK, April 24, 2018, https://vpk-news(.)ru/articles/42359; Alexander Zhruavlev, [“The Upcoming Summer Period of Training Will Be Used to the Maximum in the Preparation of Troops,”] Red Star, May 27, 2019, http://redstar((.))ru/s-uchyotom-sirijskogo-opyta-2/?attempt=1#content.
[6] “Over 4,000 Belarusian Military to Participate in Union Shield 2019 Exercise,” BelTA, August 24, 2019, https://eng.belta(.)by/society/view/over-4000-belarusian-military-to-participate-in-union-shield-2019-exercise-123339-2019/.
[7] “Over 4,000 Belarusian Military to Participate in Union Shield 2019 Exercise,” BelTA, August 24, 2019, https://eng.belta(.)by/society/view/over-4000-belarusian-military-to-participate-in-union-shield-2019-exercise-123339-2019/.
[8] [“Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019’ Will Be Held From 13 to 19 September,”] Sputnik Belarus, August 14, 2019, https://sputnik(.)by/defense_safety/20190814/1042399263/Uchenie-Schit-Soyuza-2019-proydet-s-13-po-19-sentyabrya.html; Natalia Balkanska, [“The Defense Ministry Revealed the Timing and Scope of Strategic Exercises ‘Center-2019,’”] TV Zvezda, August 20, 2019, https://tvzvezda(.)ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html.
[9] [“The West of the Country Under Reliable Protection,”] Red Star, August 21, 2019, http://redstar(.)ru/zapad-strany-pod-nadyozhnoj-zashhitoj/.
[10] [“12,000 Servicemen Will Take Part in the Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019,’”] Russian Gazette, August 14, 2019, https://rg(.)ru/2019/08/14/v-uchenii-shchit-soiuza-2019-primut-uchastie-12-tysiach-voennosluzhashchih-soiuznogo-gosudarstva.html; Sputnik Belarus, Telegram, August 24, 2019, https://t(.)me/sputnikby/965; Georgi Okoshko, [“’Union Shield-2019’ Will Complete the Cycle of Joint Training of Servicemen of the Russian Federation and Belarus,”] RITM Eurasia, August 17, 2019, https://www.ritmeurasia(.)org/news--2019-08-17--schit-sojuza-2019-zavershit-cikl-sovmestnoj-podgotovki-voennosluzhaschih-rf-i-rb-44373.
[11] “Russia Starts Army Drills to Respond to Central Asia Threats,” Federal News Network, June 24, 2019, https://federalnewsnetwork.com/world-news/2019/06/russia-starts-army-drills-to-respond-to-central-asia-threats/.
[12] Brandon Wallace with Jennifer Cafarella, “ISIS Reasserts Global Reach for Ramadan 2019,” Institute for the Study of War, May 1, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/05/isis-reasserts-global-reach-for-ramadan.html.
[13] Craig Nelson and Thomas Grove, “Russia, China Vie for Influence in Central Asia as U.S. Plans Afghan Exit,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-china-vie-for-influence-in-central-asia-as-u-s-plans-afghan-exit-11560850203?mod=hp_lead_pos7; Hiroyuki Akita, “Russia and China Romance Runs into Friction in Central Asia,” Nikkei Asian Review, July 29, 2019, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/Russia-and-China-romance-runs-into-friction-in-Central-Asia; Andrew Higgins, “Kazakhstan Gets New Leader, but Old System’s Grip on Power Remains,” New York Times, June 10, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/world/asia/kazakhstan-president.html.
[14] Nataliya Bugayova, Alexander Begej, and Darina Regio, “Russia in Review: March 15 – 26, 2019,” Institute for the Study of War, March 26, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/03/russia-in-review-march-15-26-2019.html.
[15] Atle Staalesen, “A Large-Scale Russian Military Exercise is Coming to the Arctic,” Barents Observer, December 20, 2018, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2018/12/large-scale-russian-military-exercise-coming-arctic#.XBumgn2T55A.twitter; [“Russia to Hold Strategic Exercises in the Arctic,”] Izvestia, December 18, 2018, https://iz(.)ru/824776/2018-12-18/rossiia-provedet-strategicheskie-ucheniia-v-arktike.
[16] Suzerainty is “a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs.”
[17] [“12,000 Servicemen Will Take Part in the Russian-Belarusian Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019,’”] Russian Ministry of Defense, July 24, 2019, https://function.mil(.)ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12242562@egNews; Nataliya Bugayova, Darina Regio, Mason Clark, and Michaela Walker with Alexandra McClintock, “Russia in Review: Domestic Discontent and Foreign Policy,” Institute for the Study of War, August 6, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/08/russia-in-review-domestic-dissent-and.html.
[18] [“12,000 Servicemen Will Take Part in the Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019,’”] Russian Gazette, August 14, 2019, https://rg(.)ru/2019/08/14/v-uchenii-shchit-soiuza-2019-primut-uchastie-12-tysiach-voennosluzhashchih-soiuznogo-gosudarstva.html.
[19] [“The Draft Military Doctrine of the Union State is Planned to be Approved by the End of the Year,”] Union State, October 26, 2018, http://www.soyuz(.)by/news/joint-programs/41997.html.
[20] Mason Clark and Nataliya Bugayova, “Russia in Review: May 9 - 13, 2019,” Institute for the Study of War, May 14, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/05/russia-in-review-may-9-13-2019.html.
[21] “Belarus Leader Tells Trump Adviser He Wants to Reset Ties with the U.S.,” Reuters, August 29, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-usa-bolton-reset/belarus-leader-tells-trump-adviser-he-wants-to-reset-u-s-ties-tass-idUSKCN1VJ1F9.
[22] Exclusive: Belarus’s Luashenka, Weary of Russian Union, Seeks to Buy U.S. Crude,” RFERL, August 22, 2019, https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-lukashenka-us-oil-purchase-russia-reliance/30124113.html; “Belarus Leader Tells Trump Adviser He Wants to Reset Ties with the U.S.,” Reuters, August 29, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-usa-bolton-reset/belarus-leader-tells-trump-adviser-he-wants-to-reset-u-s-ties-tass-idUSKCN1VJ1F9.
[23] [“Dodon Talked About Possible Official Shoigu Visit to Moldova,” Sputnik Moldova, August 27, 2019, https://ru.sputnik(.)md/society/20190827/27378388/dodon-rasskazal-o-vozmozhnom-ofitsialnom-vizite-shoygu-moldova.html.
[24] Darina Regio and Nataliya Bugayova, “Russia in Review: Opportunity in Moldova,” Institute for the Study of War, June 24, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/06/russia-in-review-opportunity-in-moldova.html.
[25] Ibid.
[26] [“The President of Moldova Doubts the European Future of the Country,”] Strategic Culture Foundation, August 27, 2019, https://www.fondsk(.)ru/news/2019/08/27/prezident-moldovy-somnevaetsja-v-evropejskom-buduschem-strany-48880.html; Vadim Ghirda, “AP Interview: Moldova President Says Country Needs Russia,” Associated Press, February 21, 2019, https://www.apnews.com/e69fb771689c47dbbe3561338bfe98a4.
[27] “Armenia Sends Deminers to Syria as Part of Russia-Backed Mission,” RFERL, February 10, 2019, https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-deminers-russia-mission-syria-aleppo/29761527.html; “Armenia, Russia Send Aid to Syria,” Armenian Mirror-Spectator, August 14, 2019, https://mirrorspectator.com/2019/08/14/armenia-russia-send-aid-to-syria/.
[28] ‘Russia, Mongolia Kick off Selenga-2019 Joint Military Drills,” TASS, August 16, 2019, https://tass(.)com/defense/1073757.
[29] “Putin Praises Milestone Permanent Treaty with Mongolia,” TASS, September 3, 2019, https://tass(.)com/politics/1076151.
[30] Yuri Gavrilov, [“Shoigu’s Five-Year Plan,”] Rossiskaya Gazeta, October 18, 2018, https://rg(.)ru/2018/10/18/rossiia-i-mongoliia-rasshiriat-voennoe-sotrudnichestvo.html; Alexander Boyko, [“Defense Ministry: Ulaanbaatar and Moscow Strengthen Military Cooperation,”] Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 16, 2019, https://www.kp(.)ru/online/news/3575055/.
[31] “Russian, Mongolian Troops Employ New Tactic in Selenga-2019 Joint Drills,” TASS, August 22, 2019, https://tass(.)com/defense/1074574; “Russia, Mongolia Kick off Selenga-2019 Joint Military Drills,” TASS, August 16, 2019, https://tass(.)com/defense/1073757; [“Russia and Mongolia Sign Military Cooperation Program,”] Regnum, October 18, 2018, https://regnum(.)ru/news/2502956.html; “Selenga 2019 Joint Russian-Mongolian Exercise Planning Finishes in Mongolia,” Russian Defense Ministry, February 7, 2019, https://eng.mil(.)ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12239397@egNews.
[32] [“The Ministry of Defense Revealed the Timing and Scope of the Strategic Exercises Center-2019,”] TV Channel ‘Zvezda’, August 20, 2019, https://tvzvezda(.)ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html.
[33] “Russian Military Held Center-2015 Exercise to Practice Struggle against IS,” TASS, October 6, 2015, http://tass(.)ru/en/defense/826605.
[34] Mason Clark, “Russia in Review: Global Military Ties,” Institute for the Study of War, August 13, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/08/russia-in-review-global-military-ties.html.
[35] Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, “How Will Recent Tensions Impact India’s Tsentr 2019 Participation?” The Diplomat, August 27, 2019, https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/how-will-recent-tensions-impact-indias-tsentr-2019-participation/.
[36] [“Belarusian Military Arrived in Ryazan for Exercises with Russia and Egypt,”] RIA, August 19, 2019, https://ria(.)ru/20190819/1557639817.html?in=t. “Russia, Egypt, Belarus Hold Joint Military Drill In Russia's Ryazan Region,” UrduPoint, August 22, 2019, https://www.urdupoint(.)com/en/world/russia-egypt-belarus-hold-joint-military-dr-694936.html; Russian Ministry of Defense, Facebook, August 29, 2019, https://www.facebook.com/mod.mil.rus/videos/508506093245531/.
[37] “Over 4,000 Belarusian Military to Participate in Union Shield 2019 Exercise,” BelTA, August 14, 2019, https((:))//eng.belta.by/society/view/over-4000-belarusian-military-to-participate-in-union-shield-2019-exercise-123339-2019/; [“The Ministry of Defense Revealed the Timing and Scope of the Strategic Exercises Center-2019,”] TV Channel ‘Zvezda’, August 20, 2019,
https((:))//tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html.
[38] Vladimir Karzonov, “India Expected To Sign for More MiG-29s and Su-30MKIs in October,” Aviation International News, August 3, 2019, https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2019-08-03/india-expected-sign-more-mig-29s-and-su-30mkis-october; Manu Pubby, “Joint Venture for AK 203 Rifles Factory at Amethi was the `Fastest Ever’ Created with Russia,” The Economic Times, July 9, 2019, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/joint-venture-for-ak-203-rifles-factory-at-amethi-was-the-fastest-ever-created-with-russia/articleshow/70144865.cms?from=mdr.
[39] “Russia to Pitch Su-57 Fighter Jets to China,” Asia Times, April 2, 2019, https://www((.))asiatimes.com/2019/04/article/russia-to-pitch-su-57-fighter-jets-to-china/;
[40] Mason Clark, “Russia in Review: Global Military Ties,” Institute for the Study of War, August 13, 2019, http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/08/russia-in-review-global-military-ties.html.
[41][“Erdogan Did Not Rule Out the Possibility of Buying Su-35 and Su-57 instead of F-35,”] TASS, August 28, 2019, https://tass((.))ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/6810477; [“Turkey May Purchase New Weapon Systems from Russia,”] TV Channel ‘Big Asia’, August 28, 2019, http((:))//bigasia.ru/content/news/politics/turtsiya-mozhet-zakupit-v-rossii-novye-vooruzheniya/.
[42] The Collective Security Treaty Organization includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. See: [“Collective Security Treaty Organization,”] Collective Security Treaty Organization, accessed September 4, 2019, http://www.odkb.gov((.))ru/start/index_aengl.htm.
[43] “Over 4,000 Belarusian Military to Participate in Union Shield 2019 Exercise,” BelTA, August 14, 2019, https://eng.belta(.)by/society/view/over-4000-belarusian-military-to-participate-in-union-shield-2019-exercise-123339-2019/; Alexander Alesin, [“Union Shield-2019: Who Minsk and Moscow Mean by the Third Force,”] Naviny, August 20, 2019, https://naviny(.)by/article/20190820/1566280237-shchit-soyuza-2019-kogo-minsk-i-moskva-podrazumevayut-pod-tretey-siloy; [“Up to 950 Units of Military Equipment will be Involved in the Russian-Belarusian Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019,’”] Russian Ministry of Defense, July 24, 2019, https://function.mil(.)ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12242567@egNews; [“Belarusian Military Arrives at the Polygon Mulino to Participate in the Exercise ‘Union Shield-2019,’”] BelTeleRadio Company, August 28, 2019, https://www.tvr(.)by/news/obshchestvo/belorusskie_voennye_pribyvayut_na_poligon_mulino_dlya_uchastiya_v_ucheniyakh_shchit_soyuza_2019/; [“The ‘Union Shield’ Begins: Maneuvers on the Eve of the Exercise of Belarusian and Russian Military Engineers Were Held in Russia at the Combat Training Center of the Western Military District,”] Nationwide Television Belarus, August 30, 2019, https://ont(.)by/news/nachinaetsya-shit-soyuza-manyovry-v-preddverii-ucheniya-belorusskih-i-rossijskih-voennyh-inzhenerov-proshli-v-rossii-na-baze-centra-boevoj-podgotovki-zapadnogo-voennogo-okruga; [“The West of the Country Under Reliable Protection,”] Red Star, August 21, 2019, http://redstar(.)ru/zapad-strany-pod-nadyozhnoj-zashhitoj/.
[44] Natalia Balkanska, [“The Defense Ministry Revealed the Timing and Scope of Strategic Exercises ‘Center-2019,’”] TV Zvezda, August 20, 2019, https://tvzvezda(.)ru/news/forces/content/20198192231-FKhPU.html; [“Strategic Command and Staff Exercise ‘Center-2019’ will be Held for the First Time on the Grounds of the CSTO Member States,”] Russian Ministry of Defense, May 16, 2019, https://function.mil(.)ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12231817@egNews; [“Exercise ‘Center-2019’: Russian Special Forces Landing in the Arctic,”] Regnum, August 8, 2019, https://regnum(.)ru/news/polit/2684713.html; [“Russia to Hold Strategic Exercises in the Arctic,”] Izvestia, December 18, 2018, https://iz(.)ru/824776/2018-12-18/rossiia-provedet-strategicheskie-ucheniia-v-arktike; Atle Staalesen, “A Large-Scale Russian Military Exercise is Coming to the Arctic,” Barents Observer, December 20, 2018, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2018/12/large-scale-russian-military-exercise-coming-arctic#.XBumgn2T55A.twitter; Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, “How Will Recent Tensions Impact India’s Tsentr 2019 Participation?” The Diplomat, August 27, 2019, https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/how-will-recent-tensions-impact-indias-tsentr-2019-participation/; Alexander Stepanov, [“Central Outpost,”] Rossiskaya Gazeta,l June 19, 2019, https://rg(.)ru/2019/06/19/aleksandr-lapin-afganistan-stanovitsia-novym-pribezhishchem-dlia-terroristov.html; [“China Will Send Military and Equipment to Russia for Exercises ‘Center-2019,’”] RIA, August 29, 2019, https://ria(.)ru/20190829/1558025375.html; http(:)//eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2019-08/30/content_9606383.htm; “China to Send 1,600 Troops, About 30 Aircraft to Russia’s Strategic Military Drills,” Tasnim News Agency, August 29, 2019, https://www.tasnimnews(.)com/en/news/2019/08/29/2086022/china-to-send-1-600-troops-about-30-aircraft-to-russia-s-strategic-military-drills.


Source:Ocnus.net 2019

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