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The Zapad-2021 exercises. Russian strategy in practice. OSW Commentary Number 405 3.09.2021.

Wilk, Andrzej and Żochowski, Piotr (2021) The Zapad-2021 exercises. Russian strategy in practice. OSW Commentary Number 405 3.09.2021. [Policy Paper]

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    The Zapad-2021 strategic exercises, scheduled for 10–16 September, are the most important training programme yet undertaken held by the Russian Armed Forces and the Belarusian army which cooperates with them. As they involve as many as 200,000 soldiers, they will also be the largest military exercises conducted in Europe for nearly 40 years. The training phase actually began in July, and will peak during the officially announced dates. The accompanying disinformation operation began even earlier, at the end of 2020; the aim was to present the exercises as a defensive action by the alliance of Belarus and Russia against allegedly rising aggression by NATO. The Zapad-2021 (zapad meaning ‘west’) exercises are a test of how ready the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are to conduct operations on NATO’s eastern flank, but they also represent a test of the state structures, in terms of the comprehensive security of their activities and operation in conditions of armed conflict. Particular importance should be attached to the attempt at verifying how effective both countries will be at conducting information warfare, the goal of which is to confirm the potential enemy in the belief that Russia is militarily superior, and that it is ready to use force for political purposes.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
    Other international institutions > NATO
    Countries > Russia
    Countries > Belarus
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 15:32
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 15:32

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