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Is Russia really preparing an offensive against Ukraine?

22 1 25

On January 11, about 3,000 servicemen of the Western Military District launched military exercises at the combined arms training grounds in Voronezh, Belgorod, Bryansk and Smolensk regions, not far from Russia’s border with Ukraine and Belarus. The move has been a source of anxiety in the West with the US demanding an explanation on the exercises.

Up to 300 units of military equipment are used in the drills, including T-72B3 tanks and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. But is that a lot? Let’s recall that the strength of a motor rifle regiment during wartime is about 2,500 men. While 300 tanks and IFVs is well below the strength of a regular tank division.

Therefore, we can safely say that the exercise in Russia’s western regions involves nothing more than the equivalent of a reinforced motor rifle regiment. A single regiment should not – and cannot – cause large-scale geopolitical tensions.

In addition, any military training activities involve a considerable expenditure of material resources. Thus, as a general rule, they are conducted in accordance with the operational training plan of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as the individual training schedules of Russia’s five military districts. It would be highly unusual to hold separate military drills without any pre-planning.

Now, to address the geographical proximity of the exercise areas to Russia’s western borders that has traditionally bothered the West: the fact is, military training operations are carried out strictly at pre-existing training grounds, which are few and far between in the European part of Russia – besides, their maximum capacity rarely exceeds the strength of a regiment. Moreover, it is unlikely that new training ranges will be created in the foreseeable future, since there is virtually no available land in the western regions, and there are........

© RT.com

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