Russia begins snap military drills on the border with Ukraine

On June 5, Russia conducted a sudden inspection of the forces on the border with Ukraine, and transferred its subdivisions to the annexed Crimea. As the Russian media reports, Russian, Belarusian and Serbian forces will take part in the “Slavic Brotherhood 2017” military drills. The drills will take place between the 6th and the 14th of June at Brestsky which will be the central location of the exercise.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that by order of Alexander Dvornikov, commander of the forces of the Southern Military District, a number of units were placed on alert in order to test their military readiness. Motorized rifle units based in the Crimea, Dagestan, Chechnya, South Ossetia, the Rostov region and Krasnodar Kray were involved in the inspection. According to the department’s information, transport planes from the 4th Army of the Russian Air Force, anti-air defense and naval aircraft from the Black Sea Fleet transferred personnel more than one thousand kilometers from the Chechen Republic, the Republic of Dagestan and the Rostov region to training grounds in the Astrakhan region, Volgograd region, Krasnodar Kray and the Crimea. The department also highlighted that railroad transport is in the process of transferring equipment to training grounds, where the divisions will have to carry out tasks according to their designations. All in all, more than 6,500 military personnel and roughly 1,500 units of military and special equipment of the motorized rifle, tank and artillery divisions, as well as the marines of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla are to be involved in the drills.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has already reacted to the unexpected “inspection” of the Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. The Defense Ministry’s spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said that the Ukrainian forces on the border with Russia and the Crimea have been placed on higher alert.

“Control of the air space has been intensified, we are monitoring the situation on the Ukrainian borders and we are using all possible ways and means so that these drills do not transition into some kind of act of aggression unexpected by us. Thus everyone who is currently located on the front line, and also along the state border of Ukraine, has been placed on the relevant state of alert,” said Andriy Lysenko.

Lysenko also noted that Russia conducts so-called sudden drills on a regular basis, relocating forces and equipment not only in Russian territory, but also in Belarus, “supposedly in the context of joint exercises”.

  Crimea, Military Exercises, Belarus, Slavic Brotherhood