Engineering Troops in Zapad 2017

03:50 21.01.2017Get short URL21113121
Servicemen from the Russian Engineer Troops will take part in the Zapad (West) 2017 drills that will be conducted jointly with Belarus, Chief of the Russian Armed Forces' Engineer Troops Lt. Gen. Yuri Stavitsky told journalists.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Zapad 2017 exercises will be held as a part of general preparatory system drills.

"In 2017 the participation of Engineer Troops is planned in general preparatory system drills, the main of which are the joint strategic drills of the armed forces of Belarus and the Russian Federation Zapad 2017," Stavitsky said.

Zapad to be Bigger But Smaller Numbers of Exercises

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. In 2017, Russia’s Armed Forces will conduct over 2,800 military drills, Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"On the whole, over 2,800 tactical, special and command-staff drills are planned to be conducted this year. In September, we will hold the West-2017 Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises," Shoigu said during the defense ministry’s teleconference.

He emphasized the need to take into account the military experience gained during the Syrian operation.

Shoigu also said that battalion task groups and company tactical teams of Russia’s ground troops, airborne forces and coastal defense troops had started "to take steps in order to improve their interaction," while fighter pilots had been practicing solitary exercises as well as flights in pairs and groups.

"The flying time in the winter period will grow to reach 14% of the annual target. Naval vessels and submarines continue to fulfill their tasks. The time naval ships and submarines have spent underway since the new academic year began, has exceeded 16% of the planned target," Shoigu added.

As reported earlier, in 2016, Russia’s Armed Forces planned to conduct over 4,000 exercises including various military drills.

Russian Defense Ministry has commented on the order of 4,000 cars in Belarus

For almost two months the Russian Defense Ministry did not give a response to a formal request of Russian journalists, why in 2017 the Russian Ministry of Defense has ordered 4162 cars for the transport of troops and military cargo on Belarus.

It turned out that it was many times higher than previously announced by the data for other years, when in joint Russian-Belarusian scientists.

"The volume of military rail transport in 2017 is comparable to the volume of traffic in the course of the exercises on the territory of Belarus in previous years," West 2009 - more than 6 thousand cars, "West-2013" - almost 2,5 thousand cars ", - said in response, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Office clarified that ordered "4,000 cars" - transportation in both directions: 2.000 cars go to the exercise area, 2,000 - in the opposite direction.

The sharp rise in Russian military sales to Belarus caused understandable concern in the press, according to which it could mean deployment in Belarus of a large Russian groups for aggressive action against Belarus, Ukraine or the Baltic countries.

Belarusian experts have expressed different opinions about the exercise.

"His response to the Ministry of Defense wrote 55 days. This pattern of impressive scale formulations contains only four sentences ... I can only speculate about how our request moved to the depths of the military department, "- said Russian journalist of" Novaya Gazeta ".

The exercises "West-2017" will be held in the autumn of 2017, and is expected to be very large in size - may exceed the exercises "Caucasus-2016", which was attended by 125,000 troops and 97,000 reservists, wrote earlier Russian "Independent Military Review".