Exercise ZAPAD 2021

The armed forces of Russia are going to present Exercise ZAPAD 2021, which are a series of multinational theatre level exercises. As many as 17 nations are invited to be a part of this exercise.  . The exercise is slated to be held at Nizhniy, Russia between 3rd to 16th September 2021. India is one of the participating countries among 9 nations, while China and Pakistan have chosen to participate as Observers for the Exercise. The central focal points of this exercise it to step up military operations against terrorist forces. During the implementation, the exercise aims to foster strategic ties with the participating nations. It also plans to re-strengthen military ties through enhanced execution.

Participating and Observing Nations

Russia has invited a total of 17 nations to comprehensively take part in the ensuing Exercise. Nine participating countries include India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Armenia, apart from Russia. Observer countries include Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia and Uzbekistan. The principal phase of the exercise has been slated to begin from the 10th of September 2021.

The NATO Specification

The Secretary General of NATO has called upon Russia to extend open engagements in its ZAPAD 2021 military exercise. The recent developments surfacing in Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic regions have raised eyebrows with regard to the political intentions of Moscow. This has put a question mark on concern regarding the troop numbers going to participate in the Exercise. Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg pointed out to Reuter’s news agency about the need for an anticipatory and unambiguous behaviour from the Russian end. Pointing out to previous military Exercises carried out by the nation, allied officials from NATO claimed unreported statistics of participant size, clarifying a stark deviation from standard International protocols.

The two-week Exercise

The ZAPAD Exercise is staged at the venue of Mulino Training Ground, Nizhniy. This location is geographically located around 423 kilometres east of the Moscow nation. The Russian Armed forces engage in a series of annual military trainings that involve exercises conducted on a very large scale. The ZAPAD exercises are one amongst these groups of annual exercises. The Strategic commanding forces of the Russian Army include Zapad(West), Vostok(East), Tsentr(Central) and Kavkaz(of the Caucasus regions). The large scale series of exercises are strategically rotated amongst these four forces on an annual basis.

Military Engagements

ZAPAD 2021 Exercises engage more than 10,000 military personnel in multiple arms of aircraft operations, artillery wings and armours including equipments and machinery. Drill exercises conduct surveys and examinations on various aspects of warning systems, striking capability prospects and information attacks on electronic systems. In the planning wing, for the current year, the Russian army has come up with more than 4800 exercises as a part of ZAPAD 2021. In civil surveillance systems, the focus of the exercise is on combating possible attacks from unmanned aerial vehicles.

Indian Participation

The contingency from the Indian subcontinent has already been trained under strenuous application operations. The ground preparation for the exercise has been extended to mechanise operational training, skills for airborne and heliborne exercises, counter terrorism activities, combat conditioning performances and firing drills. The contingency team will have around 200 military workforces from the Indian army. India is all set to extend its co-operation on anti-terror policies during the exercise. The participation of the Indian contingency was confirmed through official sources from the Defence Ministry of India. The All Arms Combined Task Force is the Central highlight of the Naga Battalion Group that is to be part of the special exercise. The Naga Battalion Group is listed as an Infantry Regiment by the Indian army.

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