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Poland’s defense minister calls for scrutinizing Ukrainian claims about Zapad 2017

October 01, 1:22 UTC+3 WARSAW

The strategic Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad 2017 was held in Belarus from September 14 through September 20

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WARSAW, October 1. /TASS/. Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz came up with the assertions on Friday that Ukrainian officials were perfectly well informed on the Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2017 and hence their allegations that Russian troops had stayed back on the territory of Belarus after completion of the maneuvers were to be treated seriously.

"We’re examining the information from the Ukrainian side very attentively," he told Polish television. "The Ukrainians are very competent in the affairs of the Russians and I personally would evaluate their information seriously."

He admitted along with it he was unprepared either to confirm or to disprove the claims of the Kiev officials.

As it follows from Macierewicz’s claims, a total of 120,000 servicemen took part in Zapad 2017 and the pullout of so many military units should take up a long enough period of time.

"It’s always possible to say the process is incomplete and we’re witnessing the procedure of the troops’ return home rather than with the stationing them for long," he said. "I think we’ll have an opportunity at the end of next week to assess if some troops have stayed back on the territory of Belarus or if the Ukrainians made an error."

The strategic Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad 2017 was held in Belarus from September 14 through September 20. Engaged in it was a contingent of up to 12,700 men and officers. The Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Thursday, September 28 the last echelon carrying the troops that had taken part in the maneuvers had left railway station of Borisov in Belarus.

The chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Force, Viktor Muzhenko told Reuters earlier Russia had left behind some troops on the territory of Belarus after completion of Zapad 2017.

Gen Igor Konashenkov, the official spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday the information stood at variance with reality.

He said Muzhenko’s information on the troops Russia had ostensibly hidden in Belarus exposed the degree of degradation of the Ukrainian General Staff and the professional inaptitude of its top official.

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