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Lepel Regional Executive Committee
15 August 2019

Vitebsk paratroopers muster ahead of Belarusian-Russian army exercise

Personnel of the 103rd Independent Guards Airborne Brigade arranged a readiness muster on 14 August ahead of the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Union Shield 2019, BelTA has learned.

The paratroopers will travel to the Mulino exercise area in Russia in late August in order to begin preparations for accomplishing tasks in the course of the Union Shield 2019 exercise. Representatives of the Defense Ministry inspected the brigade and evaluated its readiness for the exercise on 14 August.

Chief of Staff, First Deputy Chief of the Special Operations Command of the Armed Forces of Belarus Viktor Gulevich remarked that taking part in such exercises is a responsible and important matter. "The personnel are in good mood ahead of the exercise. Yes, there are certain rough spots to polish but on the whole the brigade is ready for the Union Shield 2019 exercise," the officer noted.

The brigade will dispatch about 700 paratroopers, logistics and support personnel, and command and control unit officers to the exercise. Private Yegor Zinkevich, driver of an armored fighting vehicle BTR-80, is one of them. "Our crew is quite ready for the exercise. It will be the first time I take part in such a large exercise. Crossing a lake in a BTR at night will be a new experience for me," the soldier said.

The Belarusian-Russian joint army exercise Union Shield 2019 is scheduled to take place in the Mulino exercise area of the Western Military District of the Russian army in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast on 13-19 September. Some 12,000 military personnel will take part in it, including 4,000 Belarusians. The exercise is the final stage in the two-year cycle of joint combat training of Belarusian and Russian army units.


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