NIZHNI NOVGOROD, September 13. /TASS/. A joint military exercise, Union Shield 2019, involving 12,000 Russian and Belarussian military servicemen has begun at the proving ground Mulino, the Nizni Novgorod Region, the press-service of the Western Military District has said.
"A joint exercise called Union Shield 2019 by Russian and Belarussian troops is beginning at the Mulino proving ground in the Nizhny Novgorod Region," the district’s news release runs.
The exercise will be held under the district’s commander Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlyov and chief of the General Staff of the Belarussian armed forces, First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Oleg Belokonev.
"Taking part in the exercise will be about 12,000 troops and up to 950 pieces of military equipment. The exercise will end on September 19," the press-service said.
The exercise will consist of two phases. First, the commanders will plan a joint operation and second, troops will search and eliminate a hypothetical enemy’s forces and groups of saboteurs.
Previously Russia and Belarus held a joint exercise in September 2017. Six proving grounds in Belarus, an area near the Belarussian community of Dretun and also Russia’s Kaliningrad, Leningrad and Pskov territories were involved. A total of 12,700 troops took part.