The joint tactical exercises of Russia and Belarus "Slavic Brotherhood" will be held from 14 to 25 September at the Belarusian training ground "Brestsky".

This was reported by the RF Ministry of Defense.

The ministry noted that more than 800 military from the two countries and about 170 pieces of equipment will take part in the maneuvers.

In particular, modern BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers BTR-MDM "Shell" of the Black Sea Guards Airborne Assault Regiment of the Pskov Guards Airborne Forces will be involved.

It is noted that the maneuvers are carried out on counter-terrorism topics and are not directed against other countries.

During the exercise, Russian and Belarusian paratroopers will work out interaction and coordination in performing tactical tasks.

In 2020, the exercises "Slavic Brotherhood" will be held for the sixth time.

The first maneuvers in 2015 were held in Russia.

More than 700 people took part in them.

In 2016, joint exercises took place at a training ground near Belgrade, and in 2017 - near Brest.

In 2018, Russia again hosted the exercises.

In 2019, the maneuvers took place in Serbia.

As a rule, the Slavic Brotherhood exercises are conducted in two stages.

At the first, preparatory, the servicemen work out "the coordination of a multinational battalion tactical group", at the second, active, they carry out anti-terrorist measures.

Political overtones

It is worth noting that this time the exercises will be held against the background of the political crisis in Belarus, where protests against the results of the presidential elections have been going on for almost a month.

According to the results of voting, the current head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, won.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation noted that the decision to conduct exercises in Belarus was made back in October last year in accordance with the plan of international activities for 2020.

“The decision to hold exercises on the territory of the Republic of Belarus was made by the defense departments of the participating countries in October 2019 and reflected in the“ Plan of cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for 2020, ”the department said.

It also became known earlier that Serbia had to refuse to participate in the maneuvers for political reasons.

On September 9, the Minister of Defense of the Balkan Republic Alexander Vulin announced this.

  • Teachings "Slavic Brotherhood"

  • © Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

According to him, this decision was taken under pressure from the EU and for the next six months Serbia will not participate in any joint military exercises with NATO, the CSTO, Russia, the United States or China or any other military forces or blocks.

He added that Serbia took such a step to maintain its neutral status.

“In order to maintain our position of military neutrality, to avoid or at least reduce the consequences of intensified attacks on our country, our politics and our economy, the government of the Republic of Serbia at today's meeting decided to suspend military exercises and all activities with all partners for six months.

Our participation in peacekeeping operations will be reviewed separately and, if necessary, canceled.

This is the only way to maintain military neutrality, and this painful decision obliges us to rely only on ourselves and our forces, "TASS quotes him.

At the same time, Vulin added that this decision will not affect the combat readiness of the Serbian armed forces.

Meanwhile, the head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus, Igor Gremeshkevich, said that the ministry had not received information from the Serbian side about the refusal to participate in the maneuvers.

Commenting on the decision of Belgrade, political analysts point to the fact that Serbia is now in an unfriendly environment of the European Union and NATO.

“She is constantly under pressure from all sides, including the United States.

We see how the recent reception of the President of the Republic at the White House went, we know about Washington's desire for Serbia to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Now Serbia is really under great pressure, and this is the reason for the pause they are taking, ”Andrei Koshkin, a member of the Association of Military Political Scientists, said in a conversation with RT.

"A tactful response to open pressure"

In an interview with RT, military expert Boris Yulin recalled that exercises between military allies such as Russia and Belarus should be conducted fairly regularly.

“They are connected with the actual topic of the current unrest in Belarus by the fact that they have a counter-terrorism orientation.

It is worth noting here that the scale of the exercises is small, they do not provide for an active build-up of any kind of practical training, but only indicate that there is a willingness to work together at the level of units that must fight the internal enemy, ”the expert noted.

  • Teachings "Slavic Brotherhood"

  • © Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

According to him, such tactical maneuvers are a generally accepted standard for all countries that interact with each other within the framework of military-political blocs.

“Joint tactical exercises between allies are always important.

You can see how many exercises NATO countries conduct.

There we are talking about tens and hundreds of thousands of servicemen.

It is normally impossible to ensure interaction between military countries without joint exercises, that is, this is an obligatory part within the framework of any military alliances, ”Yulin stressed.

However, according to Andrei Koshkin, the current exercises are especially important in the situation of the political crisis in Belarus as one of the directions for strengthening relations between the two countries.

“Today, the situation in Belarus is rather difficult, especially taking into account the obvious desire to shake the situation and split Minsk from Moscow.

However, these exercises indicate that both Belarus and Russia comply with the agreements signed between them within the framework of the CSTO and the Union State.

Without a doubt, these maneuvers are one of the important elements confirming the close relationship between the two countries, ”says Koshkin.

He recalled that the EU is now working out a unified position, which would be characterized by pressure on the current government of Belarus and, accordingly, shaking the situation inside the country.

“So the nature of the exercises themselves contains fundamental actions that would confirm the connection between the Russian Federation and Belarus.

Rather, the maneuvers are aimed at coordinating to prevent some kind of terrorist invasion.

It is well known that NATO exercises were organized on the border, and the Slavic Brotherhood maneuvers, although they were planned in advance, are only a tactful response to the open pressure that is now being exerted on Belarus, "the expert emphasized.