About 3,000 military personnel of the Western Military District (WMD) have begun exercises at training grounds in the Voronezh, Belgorod, Bryansk and Smolensk regions. This caused concern in the NATO countries, where they believe that in this way Moscow is “preparing to attack Ukraine.” Military observer Mikhail Khodarenok figured out whether there were grounds for such fears. Up to 300 units of military equipment take part in the exercises. Among them are T-72B3 tanks and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. Recall that the number of wartime motorized rifle regiments is about 2.5 thousand people. And 300 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are significantly less than the regular strength of a tank division.
Thus, a reinforced motorized rifle regiment is taking part in the exercises that started in the western regions of Russia.
It should be added to this that all combat and operational training activities in the Armed Forces are associated with huge expenses. Therefore, as a rule, they are carried out in accordance with the operational training plan of the RF Armed Forces and the combat training plans of the military districts. On an initiative basis, any exercises are carried out extremely rarely.
The exercise area is close to the western borders of Russia, which traditionally worries the West.
The fact is that combat training activities are carried out exclusively at previously created training grounds, the number of which in the European part of Russia is very limited, and their capacity, as a rule, is no more than a regiment. Therefore, it is difficult to fulfill the periodically arising demands of the West not to conduct exercises near the western borders of Russia, even with the greatest desire, since Russia simply does not have other training grounds.
In this regard, it is worth recalling the recently announced position of the US State Department. US agency spokesman Ned Price said that the US administration expects Russia to provide clarifications on military exercises in the west of the country or completely stop them as part of the de-escalation of the situation around Ukraine.
“We believe that in this case, the de-escalation would involve the return of Russian military personnel to the barracks, clarification about these maneuvers or their cessation, and the return of heavy weapons to their usual places of storage,” Price said.
Moscow in this case usually claims that the Russian Armed Forces are moving within the territory of the state - this does not threaten anyone and should not worry anyone.
The collective West believes that the groupings of the Russian Armed Forces near the Ukrainian borders were created to carry out offensive operations against a neighboring state, and in this regard, quite specific dates are given for the transition of troops to the offensive.
The main burden during a hypothetical operation against Ukraine would fall on the units and formations of the Aerospace Forces of the RF Armed Forces.
In this case, it is necessary to talk about the so-called resource, which is usually allocated to formations and associations of the Russian Aerospace Forces for an operation. For example, in a purely quantitative sense, we can talk (and this is just a start) about 30 regimental sorties (of course, for each regiment).
In practice, this means that the required number of aviation weapons and fuel, military equipment, food, and other materiel should be concentrated at the forward and permanent airfields of the Aerospace Forces.
It is impossible to hide such preparations from modern reconnaissance means. If all these preparations are not observed by the local population and the intelligence means of the NATO countries, then there is every reason to believe that Russia is not preparing for war. War is very expensive. It is almost impossible to hide preparation for it.