The effectiveness of the Russian forces involved in the Zapad 2017 exercises was significantly reduced and ruined by heavy rain, said Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine.
“On September 18, 2017, at the Luga 33th combined arms training ground of the Western Military District in the Leningrad province, a tactical episode of defense maneuvers and the transition to offense was demonstrated for the high-ranking political leadership of Russia (President V. Putin, Defense Minister S. Shoygu, Chief of General Staff V. Gerasimov). The demonstration involved divisions of the 25th motor rifle brigade (Vladimirsky Camp, Pskov province), the 138th motor rifle brigade (Kamenka, Leningrad province), from the 6th combined arms army (Saint Petersburg), and the 2nd motor rifle division (Kalininets), from the 1st tank army (Odintsovo, Moscow province), and divisions of the missile forces and artillery, anti-air defense, task force and army aircraft of the Western Military District,” the NSDC press service cites Turchynov as saying.
The forces were supported from the air by three Tu-22M3 bombers.
“According to feedback from foreign observers, the efficiency of the ground and especially the air component of the forces involved in the training was significantly reduced and ‘ruined’ due to heavy rain in the region,” he noted.
The tactical landing planned for September 18 in the Kryuchkovo region (Tver province), 600 km from the Luga training ground, was also disrupted.
“The Russian media resources also sang the high praises of the use of the new T-90 M and T-80 BVM tanks in the exercises, which had an exclusively passive, promotional function. Furthermore, the Russian media tried to cover up the missile salvo fired by a military helicopter at spectators,” Turchynov noted.