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What international observers say about Zapad 2017 drills

The drills West 2017 (Zapad 2017) are coming to an end and international observers share their opinions about what they saw.

In recent days, simulated military operations have been unfolding on the ground and in the air. Almost 13 thousand servicemen are taking part in the large-scale military drills. 270 foreign journalists daily send their reports to colleagues for publication.

On September 18, the military simulated a counter-attack against the enemy without further offensive, since the drills are purely defensive. Aviation, artillery and tanks of the Belarus-Russia allied grouping can show themselves in all their beauty only at the Borisov training ground, because this location is the largest of the eight sites used for the Zapad drills in Belarus.

Dmitry Gorbatenko, Deputy Chief of the Main Directorate of Combat Training of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation:
Great attention was paid, first of all, to interaction at all levels, between military units. We looked at how commanders act at the lowest level and higher. We saw a very effective interaction. Thanks to this you could see the success you saw today.

Dmitry Boyarovich, CTV:
I'm at the psychological support point for servicemen. Here the picture is strikingly different from what we saw in the field. This room is more like a rehabilitation psychological center.

The psychologists work with colors, aroma and even use art therapy. All this helps to overcome stress.

Tatyana Lazar, Head of the Professional Selection Center of the Military Academy of the Republic of Belarus:
We are making every effort to ensure that the commander is in control of the situation. And this means he can bring his soldiers into a combat-ready state as quickly as possible.

This is a training ground near Minsk (it's location is classified) were the command system is being worked out. This is the point of control of the regional grouping of troops. In fact this is the heart of the Zapad drills. The control system has a duplicate. In the event of disconnection of both satellites and GPS connection will still not be lost. The point itself changes dislocation. For example, it was in another place at the beginning of the Zapad exercises.

Pavel Muraveiko, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus - Chief of the Main Operations Department:
The drills are purely applied and practical. And although it is premature to sum up we already see one of the main results. This is the level of interaction achieved between the military units of the Belarusian and Russian Armed Forces. Belarusian and Russian officers understand each other perfectly and together solve the tasks assigned to them.

The mobile information center also carried out its tasks. The equipment receives a satellite, analog and digital signal. You can see it on the monitor. This helps fighters stay informed. Such equipment can work autonomously, without power plugs, during hundred hours.

Stanislav Valyaev, Head of the Information Center of the Military Academy of the Republic of Belarus:
The mobile information center is a completely Belarusian development designed to collect and spread information in the field. It is very significant. Since fighters in the field lack fresh information about what is happening at the moment even on the neighboring site.

By September 30, the military personnel and equipment (including the Russian contingent) will return to the points of permanent deployment.

This Zapad drills is as open as possible. A few meters from the command post we see a group of foreign observers who came at the invitation of the Belarusian side.

Toomas Leets, international military observer (Estonia):
The scenario is clear, everything is clear. The course of the exercises was held according to the planned stages.

Mikael Elle, international military observer (Sweden):
It seems to me this part of the exercise was conducted successfully. It was interesting. Of course it is important that we can see everything, understand everything. We were invited by Belarus to observe the drills under the Vienna documents, it's all clear.

More than fifty journalists arrived at the Osipovichi Range to cover the joint strategic exercise West 2017. Most of them are foreigners. They saw for themselves that the Belarusian-Russian maneuvers are defensive in nature.

 что интересного происходит сегодня на белорусских полигонах?:

Sainte-Pierre Raymond, Chief of the Bureau of Radio CBC (Canada):
We've been here three days. Yesterday we attended the first exercise, but it was raining and it was hard to see anything. Today it is quite theatrical. A large area, and machinery is visible well. Bang-bang, it was beautiful. Belarus invited many observers, journalists, here I see the Red Cross, so it is very important that the drills are open.

Steven Derix, journalist of the newspaper NKC Handelsblat (the Netherlands):
This is a very impressive drill, because you shoot for real. I'm even a little excited.I have to be vigilant all the time. Yes, it's impressive.

After a massive shelling and a signal rocket, the allied armored vehicles are on the attack. They are supported from the air. It's effectively and impressively. The enemy cannot resist such pressure so they retreat. Helicopters clean up the territory and troops land. The bridgehead is ours.

What international observers say about Zapad 2017 drills