MINSK, September 21. /TASS/. The second stage of the joint Belarus-Russia military drills Slavic Brotherhood 2020 will take place in western Belarus on September 22-25, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Telegram on Monday.
"The second stage, an operational and tactical exercise, will be held on September 22-25. The main goal is to practice joint activities aimed at ensuring the country’s military security. Belarusian Deputy Defense Minister Major General Sergei Potapenko will lead the exercise," the statement reads.
Belarus’ Western Operational Command’s troops, special forces units, air forces, air defense forces and missile formations, as well as Russian airborne troop units, will take part in the second stage of the drills. "Practical action will involve about 6,000 troops and over 500 pieces of military equipment. Russia will be represented by about 1,000 troops and up to 100 pieces of military hardware," the Belarusian Defense Ministry added.
According to the ministry, the Slavic Brotherhood drills are solely defensive and aim to practice joint military activities in accordance with the existing agreements between Belarus and Russia, as well as to further boost integration processes and the defense capabilities of the Union State.
The Slavic Brotherhood 2020 drills are taking place in Belarus on September 14-25. Russia is represented by troops from a guards air assault regiment of the Pskov airborne guards. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that the exercise was being held for counter-terrorism purposes and was not directed against other countries.