25 July
Russians on the Move
Col. Sam Gardiner, USAF (ret) to samgard + 58 more
The Western Military District Press Service is telling us that the Russians have already begun moving artillery for the September Zapad exercise. (My Finnish friend Stefan Forss found the article.)

The piece tells me four things:
- Zapad 2017 will certainly be larger than the 10,000 troops the Russians are advertising.
Inclusion of Kaliningrad units underlines that these units would have a mission in the Russian plan for re-invasion of the Baltic States. Kaliningrad would not be an isolated hostage to NATO but a threat.
- The piece mentions missiles. The Russians do not call the rocket launchers missile units. In my mind that means we are likely to see the nuclear capable Iskander missiles involved in September.
- The mention that the artillery would exercise with tank units suggests to me we will see the 4th Guards - Tank Division involved in the exercise. This is the unit that most likely has the mission of closing the Suwalski Gap. The 4th participated in Zapad 2013, but at the time was only a brigade. The 4th, at one point, was said to have a deployment timeline of five days to their positions in Belarus.
Sam

Sam Gardiner



В полевом выходе принимают участие свыше 10 тыс. военнослужащих, задействовано более 2 тыс. военной и специальной техники.
Пресс-служба Западного военного округа

Google translation:
24.07.2017 (16:55)


Field operations of the missile forces and artillery units began in the Western Military District

Field movements of the missile forces and artillery units of the Western Military District (ZVO) began today in the territories of the Tambov, Leningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh and Kaliningrad regions.


Within a month, servicemen will work out the issues of bringing units to the highest levels of combat readiness, improving march training, equipment of field camps and fleet of military vehicles.

The artillerymen and missiles will carry out more than 500 different fire missions with combat training firing from self-propelled artillery units, towed guns, multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank systems and mortars.


Particular attention during the development of tactical tasks will be given to close interaction with motorized rifle, tank units, as well as by the crews of the army and operational-tactical aviation.

More than 10,000 servicemen take part in the field exercise, more than 2,000 military and special equipment are involved.


Press Service of the Western Military District