Rehearsed military peacekeeping operation because of the situation in Afghanistan and not in Ukraine

Ivan Petrov
RBC | 07/02/2014

Completed large-scale military exercises with the dispatch paratroopers to unfamiliar polygons and conduct peacekeeping operations were confined to the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. This was on a conference call on the results of the exercise said several army generals. According to military experts, generals, practicing Afghan scenario, clearly keep in mind the Ukraine.

By checking sudden troops of the Central Military District (CVO), which was held from 21 to 27 June, brought more than 65 thousand soldiers, recalled on a conference call on Tuesday, Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu. "It involved 5.5 thousand units of automotive and armored vehicles, more than 180 aircraft and 60 helicopters. At the final stage checks at various ranges on a single plan worked out a peacekeeping operation, "- said the Minister.

According to him, during the exercise carried out airlift of personnel and equipment of the 98th Airborne Division and the 31st Airborne Assault Brigade parachute and landing way. Earlier, a source in the Defense Ministry told RBC that the paratroopers these divisions participated in the raid on the protection of important strategic facilities in the Crimea.

In the course of the exercises also solves the problem of reflection of air strikes, the defeat of critical facilities imaginary enemy, air support operations of the troops. "At the present time, the troops returned to their places of permanent deployment" – summed Shoigu.

The uniqueness of this exercise is that during their first time at a distance of more than three thousand miles was completely transferred Airborne Division. Earlier, the military, commenting teachings did not explain what such a surprise and what a legend exercises. All questions about Ukraine representatives of the Defense redirected to the Foreign Ministry for comments.

At Tuesday’s meeting, it became clear that the last exercise was not directly linked with Ukraine, and Afghanistan. "We have worked quite specific tasks related to the upcoming withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan, and, of course, we cannot ignore the events that occur at the boundaries of our neighbors and our colleagues in the CSTO. Therefore, we are working on all sorts of scenarios and conduct it within including unannounced inspections, "- said Shoigu.

"On the southern borders of our country there may be some circumstances, so we must be ready for this and chose scenario exercises in connection with the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, which should be completed in 2014" – echoed Minister Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev.

Afghanistan borders with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Russia with any of these countries does not border – a buffer between these Asian countries and Russia stands Kazakhstan.

Military experts about the Afghan threat dispersed. "In Afghanistan after the withdrawal may collapse military-political stability, events will evolve in case of Iraq, and the great risk from Islamic extremism in the post-Soviet space – said a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense Igor Korotchenko. – Therefore, our troops need to be prepared to maximize operational actions, and well, that the Defense Ministry understands that. "

Different view from the head of the Center for Military Forecasting Anatoly Gypsy, razglyadevshy for "anti-Afghan" teachings signal Ukraine. "We conduct exercises against Afghanistan, but then openly show how we can act in which case the Ukraine. Before the Georgian-Ossetian war for two weeks our troops engaged in similar exercises in scale, in which showed how to act, and in the end what happened, "- said Tsiganok. In general, according to the expert, the General Staff and care situation in Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

[My personal translation – RD]


Vladimir Mukhin
June 11, 2014 Wednesday


Events in Ukraine force the military political leaders of Russia to include various options of actions and factor of unpredictability into the combat plans. Railway troops of the Central Military District were alerted on Saturday according to directive of President Vladimir Putin. They not only build troops in the flooded areas of the Siberian Military District but also work out tasks related to mobile transportation of troops at big distances. Similar sudden tasks but on a much bigger scale will also be set during strategic exercises East-2014, the biggest this year. Lieutenant General Ivan Buvaltsev, head of the Main Combat Training Directorate of the Armed Forces, announced this on June 7.

Scenario of these exercises will not be known to their participants beforehand and the place of organization will allow use of all branches of troops. It is also a secret and when and where the exercises will begin.

Military expert Lieutenant General Yury Netkachev presumes that a part of forces used in East-2014 exercises may be used in the west of Russia. Netkachev remarks, "Scenario of these exercises may be such that, for example, groups of forces will be relocated from the Far East and Siberia to the center and southwest of Russia to strengthen the border with Ukraine. Possibility of such actions is confirmed by the words of Buvaltsev that troops of not only Eastern Military District but also the Airborne Forces, long-range aviation and all branches of troops wall be used in East-2014."

Back in January of 2014, Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov announced that "strategic command staff exercises East-2014 are planned for September of the current year." It was said then that during the exercises it was planned to allocate a big part of the training time to working out of issues related to commanding of inter-branch groups of forces and comprehensive procurement. Participation of collective security forces of the CSTO was planned too.

Correspondent member of the academy of military sciences Colonel Eduard Rodyukov says, "I presume that significant changes were made in the plan of East-2014 exercises now because they had been planned when the situation in Ukraine was relatively quiet and Crimea was within it." According to Rodyukov, Russia received new challenges now. The expert said, "Kiev announces revanchist plans of possibility of return of the peninsula under its protection and NATO forces are concentrated in Poland, Baltic republics and Black Sea region, that is near the borders of Russia. I think that in these circumstances the main military exercises of the year may begin, first, earlier or later than the period of time named by Gerasimov (September of 2014). Second, the Armed Forces will be exposed to new training checks. Even bigger mobility, possibility of reinforcement of forces and means in threatened regions, use of precision-guided weapons and a big quantity of formations of manpower including peacekeeping contingents will be distinctive peculiarities of the exercises."

Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 09, 2014, p. 1



Alexander Stepanov
June 4, 2014 Wednesday


Military camp of new type and training range Raevsky where exercises of military units up to battalion could be organized were inspected by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the course of a working trip to the Southern Military District. Six new training points for grenade launchers, crews of the field air defense, communication specialists, combat engineers, specialists of radioactive, chemical and biological defense and logistic will appear at the training range soon. The Defense Minister also examined objects of the military camp of the seventh airborne assault (mountain) division of the Airborne Forces.

Vityazevo airfield located outside of the city met Shoigu with a really resort weather.

Commander of the Southern Military District Alexander Galkin and Commander of the Airborne Forces Vladimir Shamanov reported situation to the minister and immediately invited him to a helicopter to examine training center and training range Raevsky where servicemen of the seventh guard airborne assault mountain division were being trained. After the flight the minister was met by commander of the division Colonel Roman Breus.

The officer reported:

– A separate reconnaissance battalion and the first battalions of regiments were manned with contract servicemen.

The minister asked how manning of the division was going on.

The division commander reported:

– According to plans of the Airborne Forces command, by the end of 2014 the division will be manned with contract servicemen by 80%. Preplanned replacement of fired conscript servicemen with contract servicemen is currently underway.

Afterwards the minister examined the models of armament and military hardware with which paratroopers of Novorossiysk were armed. There were PSS pistols and Yarygin pistols on the stands. Paratroopers will be armed with them instead of familiar Makarov. There were sniper rifles Mannlicher and other models of newest small arms, as well as antitank missiles Kornet and mortars.

Shoigu also examined the outfits of paratroopers for actions in the mountains.

Having put a winter glove on the hand, Shoigu asked mountain training instructor Captain Vitaly Kosarev:

– Are gloves convenient, doesn’t a hand sweat in them?

The officer answered:

– They are convenient and moist resistant.

– Have you tried them personally? They report to me that everything is good but nobody has tested them in reality.

Kosarev reported:

– I have tested them personally, this is a convenient thing.

Having taken the skiing boots, Shoigu proposed examination of the instructor.

The minister asked:

– How to go to attack in this?

Kosarev answered:

– The boots are with us, we change them after the descent. If necessary, we will run even in them.

Afterwards, Shoigu examined a storage facility for armored vehicles and automobiles where up to 820 vehicles could be accommodated. After that, he transited to examination of a comprehensive building that accommodated a medical point, a staff, barracks and a mess room.

Shoigu approved the work. He said that he had no doubts that everything would be prepared on time but he demanded the builders to ensure the highest quality of work.

Modernization of the training range that allows imitation of combat operations in mountain conditions will be completed in 2015. The training range has dimensions of 5×10.8 kilometers. At Raevsky training range it is possible to have firing exercises at a mountain shooting range. Its throughput capacity is up to one platoon per hour.

Source: Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 31, 2014, p. 2

Russian marines, paratroops training action against scouts, militants

Interfax | June 16, 2014

Russian marines and paratroops have started training exercises against enemy reconnaissance and sabotage groups and against militants during a current exercise in Russia’s westernmost region, the Defense Ministry said.

"Units of the coastal forces of the Baltic Fleet and troops from the Pskov Airborne Division that were airlifted by [Ilyushin] Il-76 transport aircraft to the site of the exercise in Kaliningrad region have started training the tactical action of looking for, detecting, blockading and destroying reconnaissance and sabotage groups," the ministry said in a statement.

At several training sites in Kaliningrad region, marines and paratroops were training in missions to detect presumed deployment areas of "illegal armed units."

"Ambush positions have been set up along the presumed advancement routes of the simulated enemy in order to detect the enemy vanguard. Reconnaissance units are carrying out search operations and secret raids into presumed deployment sites of illegal armed units," the ministry said.

Kazakhstan Hosts Steppe Eagle 2012

Roger McDermott
The Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume: 9 Issue: 16  4 September 11, 2012

Kazakhstan is hosting the international peacekeeping exercise Steppe Eagle 2012, amidst growing speculation that the country plans to deploy a company of peacekeepers abroad. Astana ultimately resisted the West’s efforts to persuade the country to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan, but is now turning to consider less politically sensitive options (Interfax, September 6).

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Russian Defense Ministry aims to test “new look” of Armed Forces in North Caucasus

Eurasia Daily Monitor
August 14, 2012 — Volume 9, Issue 155

Russia Plans “Kavkaz-2012” as Test for Southern Military District

In September, the Russian Armed Forces will stage a major exercise in the country’s Southern Military District (MD) aimed at testing aspects of the ongoing reform of the conventional elements of its military, including the new commands, integrated operations, and digitized command and control (C2). However, given its proximity to the South Caucasus and the memory of the Five Day War in August 2008, the Russian Defense Ministry has actively attempted to downplay “Kavkaz-2012” (“Caucasus-2012”), due to be held September 17-23 at the Prudboy, Kapustin Yar, and Ashuluk and Rayevskoye training ranges in Volgograd and Astrakhan Regions, as well as Krasnodar Krai in the Southern MD. Kavkaz-2012 will involve more than 8,000 Russian military personnel, including ground forces and naval units, as well as precision strike systems, though defense officials want to promote the exercise as quiet and normal. On August 8, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin blasted Tbilisi for fuelling controversy over Kavkaz-2012 for more than one year since the strategic exercise was first announced (RIA Novosti, August 8).

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Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan join Russia in CSTO rapid reaction forces military exercises

CSTO Launches War Games amid Growing Regional Uncertainty
Eurasia Daily Monitor
August 7, 2012 — Volume 9, Issue 150

On Monday, August 6, the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (in Russian – KSOR) of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) launched this year’s military exercise at the Chebarkul training site of Russia’s Chelyabinsk region, close to the border with Kazakhstan. This five-day exercise codenamed Rubezh-2012 (which means “frontier” in Russian) is being attended by more than 1,000 soldiers and officers from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, aided by 100 armored vehicles, as well as by an aviation group comprised of combat helicopters and fighter jets. With landscapes similar to those of the Central Asian steppes, Chebarkul is the closest training facility in Russia with regard to both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. According to Nikolay Donyushkin, a spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Defense for ground forces, the participants of the exercise will jointly prepare an attack on a well-protected camp, presumably established by an organized criminal group. The operation will include not only the blockade of the camp, but also the neutralization of outposts and the destruction of the enemy’s reserve forces (RIA Novosti, August 6; Asia-Plus, August 1).

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