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Ukraine Does Not Record Return of Russian Military to Places of Permanent Deployment after Zapad 2021 Exercise

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The Ukrainian command has not recorded the mass return of battalion tactical groups of the army of the Russian Federation to their places of permanent deployment, despite the fact that Russia-Belarus military drill Zapad (West) 2021 officially ended on 16 September, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny has said.

According to him, there were 19 battalion-tactical groups in total; they appeared additionally during these exercises both in the territory of Belarus and in the territory of the Russian Federation. At present, they continue to perform tasks in the Southern Military District of Russia. According to the Ukrainian commander, there are about 1,000 people in each group.

“They are not standing with machine guns along our border. They are located in the relevant areas close to the state border,” Zaluzhny clarified.

He also said that some servicemen returned to their places of deployment in order to vote in the State Duma of the Russian Federation elections, so such movements are recorded, “but we should not relax today.”

As a reminder, the Russia-Belarus military drill lasted from 9 to 16 September. About 200,000 servicemen took part. Eighty planes and helicopters, 290 tanks and 15 ships were involved. NATO said it is monitoring the exercise, which has raised concerns among neighbouring allies and in Ukraine.

Bohdan Marusyak

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