The “Zapad-2017” military drill has concluded today under the personal control of the head of Belarus. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was to be present as well, but he never turned up. At the beginning of the month Vladimir Putin’s press secretary said Putin would come in person, the exercises was over without the meeting of the leaders of the two allies.
The Belarusian leader explained this situation by ruse of war…
“Whet if a bomb hit one place — it would then kill both of us, wouldn’t it? We agreed that the Russian president would supervise and monitor the exercises in the north, and I would do it here,” said Lukashenka.
During the previous joint exercises in 2009 and 2013, such safety measures were not required. The commanders were not afraid of any shells and observed the war games together. However, this time, after the fall of the two Russian airplanes and rockets shelling of the spectators in the Russian part of the exercise, cautions of the Belarus leader are somehow justified.
Military experts believe the drill shows signs of a lack of interaction between the allies.
While the Belarusian part of the exercise involved about 13 thousand soldiers from both sides, the Russian one, based on the NATO estimates, had tens of thousands of soldiers and even the fleet. It was all used against Veyshnoryia, that had no access to the sea. Russia has used the information buzz around the Belarusian part of the exercise before.
Earlier, Russia rehearsed conventional nuclear strike on Warsaw, which could repeat, based on the announcement of the Polish Defense Ministry. While the official “Zapad” has ended, Russian troops continue their maneuvers.
Usevalad Shlykau, “Belsat”, photo: Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters / Forum