The official phase of “Zapad-2017”, the biggest Russian-Belarusian military exercise this year, started today (September 14th). Yet, this event has been analysed by security pundits for months. There were many speculations about how this exercise will change the regional dynamics and security situation. The aim of this article is to put “Zapad-2017” into a larger perspective. How do the Russian armed forces train and what is the purpose of those drills? What has changed since the previous “Zapad” exercise which took place in 2013? What is to watch during “Zapad-2017”?
September 14, 2017 - Dominik P. Jankowski