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Russian helicopters arrive in Belarus for West 2017 drills

The first helicopters of the Russian contingent landed at the Machulishchi aerodrome near Minsk.

Belarus will host the strategic exercise West 2017 from September 14 to September 20. The combat readiness of the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russia on such a scale is checked every two years. Last time maneuvers were conducted at the firing ranges of the Russian Federation. The majority of activities related to the current exercise is held in Belarus.

Andrei Lukyanovich, commander of airbase No.50:
From this day crews, personnel and aviation equipment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation begin to arrive for the joint exercise West 2017.

Participation in the joint exercise of Russian servicemen gave rise to some speculation. But unlike neighboring countries, where the military maneuvers of the NATO contingent are constantly underway without the participation of national armies, Belarus will work out the interaction of its regular army with the formations of territorial defense.

These people in civilian life occupy various positions, but for the duration of the exercise they are all fighters of territorial defense. Their chevrons depict the coat of arms of their district center. So these men will protect literally their native threshold. On the central square of Glubokoye, an entire battalion of local residents took the oath. Tomorrow they will depart for the drills.

Oleg Morkhat, chairman of the Glubokoye District Executive Committee, head of the territorial defense of Glubokoye District:
Today is a festive and solemn day not only for those who took the military oath. We are once again convinced that our Belarusian people are tolerant, ready to fulfill the tasks set by the country's leadership.

The defensive exercise West 2017 should become the most open in the region.

Invited to monitor the drills are international organizations - UN, OSCE, NATO, CIS, CSTO as well as the military-diplomatic corps of the states accredited at the embassies of various countries in Belarus.

A total of 80 international experts and dozens of foreign journalists will cover and monitor the event.

On September 12, the Defense Ministry of Belarus launched a special site of the joint strategic exercise of the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russia.

The website will contain all relevant information on West 2017, including photos and videos of the brightest moments of the exercises.

Russian helicopters arrive in Belarus for West 2017 drills