September 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
Spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Saturday that all Russian military personnel who participated in the Zapad-2017 joint military exercise with Belarus returned to their permanent deployment areas despite claims by Ukraine’s Chief of General Staff Viktor Muzhenko.
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“As for units of the Russian Armed Forces, which participated in the Zapad-2017 joint strategic exercise, they all are back to the permanent deployment areas,” the ministry’s spokesman said, adding Muzhenko’s claims about the Russian troops “hidden” in Belarus, “demonstrate scale of degradation of the Ukrainian General Staff and incompetence of its chief.”
The Zapad-2017 military exercise was held in Russia and Belarus from September 14 to September 20 and involved 7,200 Belarussian and 5,500 Russian soldiers, about 70 warplanes and helicopters, up to 680 ground vehicles, including about 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars and ten warships.
Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies. He has an MA in International Relations and is interested in Great Power Rivalry as well as the International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East and Latin America.