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Russia, Belarus to hold joint military drills in September

August 10, 15:54 UTC+3 STRUGI KRASNYE

New military hardware will be used during the drills

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© Viktor Vetkin/TASS

STRUGI KRASNYE /Pskov region/, August 10. /TASS/. Russia’s Airborne Force and the Belarusian Special Operations Force (SOF) plan to hold joint military exercises near the western Russian city of Pskov in September, SOF First Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Viktor Gulevish said on Thursday.

"We have been considering issues concerning our joint military drills, they are going to be battalion task exercises," the Belarusian colonel said that a battalion of the Vitebsk Regiment would represent the country in the drills.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the military exercises are planned to be held at the base where the 76th Guards Air Assault Division of the Russian Airborne Force is deployed, which is located on the outskirts of the city of Pskov, as part of the Zapad-2017 (or West 2017) strategic drills.

A delegation of the Belarusian Special Operations Force has arrived to monitor the drills of Russia’s 104th Air Assault Regiment, currently taking place near Pskov.

Gulevich, who heads the Belarusian delegation, said that he had been greatly impressed by the large scale of the military exercises. "We have the same training system, only our tasks slightly differ," he said. "We could never imagine any task that would stipulate such large-scale drills," he added.

The Belarusian colonel also commended the efficiency of new military hardware being used during the drills, which particularly includes the BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles and Rakushka armored personnel carriers.

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