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Observers: West 2017 doesn't smell aggression

September 17 marked a new phase of the West-2017 exercise. The military drills entered the active phase. This is the time when it becomes clear how effectively the army works as a fighting mechanism, how quickly the signal from headquarters reaches all units.

The military are practicing one of the most spectacular elements of the exercise - an air strike. However, the weather did not allow seeing everything, but even the little things that journalists saw in the cloudy sky did impress. The exercise was held at the Ruzhansky training ground. Airplanes and helicopters of Belarus and Russia flew into the air to together work out the fight in the air and on the ground with a conventional adversary.

The situation on the field of the simulated battle changed rapidly. Such are the realities of modern combat.

Andrei Gurtsevich, representative of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus:
Four K52 Russian helicopters carry out target reconnaissance, after which a pair of K52s will destroy a target simulating radar facilities.

During the first episode, four aircraft carried out additional reconnaissance. After that, helicopters hit targets that simulated radars.

Ragnid Valle Hystad, observer (Norway):
We arrived here at the invitation of the Belarusian side as observers. We are very grateful to your country for inviting us to these drills. Even though the number of participating troops is lower than that indicated by the Vienna document. This is the most important sign of transparency and openness.

Anastasia Stanko, journalist (Ukraine):
What we see, what we can see, everything goes like drills and does not look like an attempt to move troops somewhere, closer to the border of, say, Ukraine. This is good, we are happy.

Eight other helicopters took off in the air to destroy enemy air defenses. The site of enemy army aviation, a target simulating a road bridge and mock-ups of trucks were struck as instructed.

According to the scenario, one of the aircraft was hit. The search and rescue operation was also successful.

 наблюдатели о военных учениях «Запад-2017»

A combat aircraft flies two kilometers in 10 seconds, so the accuracy of the pilot must be really high. Of course, it is extremely difficult to fight at such speeds but, as the actions showed, it's quite real. Given the bad weather, the positive results speak volumes. Now the epicenter of the exercises will move 300 kilometers to the east, where a battle to keep the defensive lines will be simulated at the Osipovichi training ground on September 18.

Observers: West 2017 doesn't smell aggression