MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. It is early to speak about the Zapad-2017 drills’ outcome now, but Russian President Vladimir Putin positively assesses the stage of the exercises that he attended at the Luzhsky proving ground, the Leningrad Region, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"So far, the president has not given his assessments to the drills. Certainly, they have just ended and are being summarized," Peskov said. "But we can say that during his visit to one of these drills’ stages in the Leningrad Region a few days ago the president positively assessed the process and the outcome of these maneuvers."
When asked if the president was informed about the incident with the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter, which unintentionally fired a rocket, Peskov said "the defense ministry’s top brass regularly makes all the necessary reports to the commander-in-chief."
A large-scale exercise Zapad-2017 was held in Russia and Belarus from September 14 to September 20. The drills were held at three proving grounds in Russia and six in Belarus involving 12,700 troops (7,200 Belarussian and 5,500 Russian), 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.
The main purpose of the exercise was to improve the compatibility of command and control centers, test new documentation and let commanders of all levels practice planning and control of operations on the basis of experience gained in the latest military conflicts.
The drills were monitored by observers from seven states, including NATO members.