Zapad-2013 to be held in Belarus, Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea - Putin
Russian President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said that from 20 to 26 September joint strategic exercises of Russia and Belarus Zapad-2013 are to be held on polygons of the Republic of Belarus, the Kaliningrad region and in the Baltic Sea.
"At present, active preparations for joint strategic exercises Zapad-2013 with the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus are conducted by the Ministry of Defense of Russia", Putin said at a videoconference with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense.
"I know that the troops of the Western Military District are already put on alert, the issues of troops rail transportation and their deployment on the polygons to perform the task ahead are actively worked out," said the President.
Along with the preparations of Russian Armed Forces for Zapad-2013 exercises, a comprehensive review of internal military forces of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as a number of certain civilian agencies - Ministry of Transport of Russia, Ministry of Energy and the administration of the Nizhny Novgorod region - will be held.
"This year, we have already carried out several surprise inspections and related exercises in all military districts in Russian Ministry of Defense," said the President. "Practice shows that this type of training is certainly demanded and very effective. Given this effectiveness of sudden complex inspections, it was decided to continue this practice and to extend its format."
To do this, the President requested to conduct unscheduled workouts for training purposes from 17 September. During the first day the troops will need to check time standards and the ability of the relevant departments to carry out activities in the established alert levels. In the morning September 17 Chief of the Interior Troops of the Russian Interior Ministry Nikolay Rogozhkin said that in connection with the exercises the internal forces are put on high alert.
The President also stressed that during the exercise special attention should be paid to interaction and exchange of information between the federal bodies of executive power, the coordination of activities of all entities involved, and interaction with the military authorities and the military commissioners on mobilization.
9.4 thousand people including about 200 Belarusian military will be involved in Zapad-2013 on Russian territory, another 2.5 thousand Russian troops will participate in the activities on the territory of Belarus.