The part of the joint Russian-Belarusian West-2017 strategic drills, which was available for the international observers, was “deemed open”. That impeded the representatives of the countries invited from assuring the relevance of the drills’ aims announced with the actual forms and methods of troops employment. The Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that on their official website citing the Verification Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“These conclusions were made by Ukrainian observers, who in accordance with the 2011 Vienna Document and the invitation of the Belarusian side, took part in observing the military activity on the territory of Republic of Belarus during the practical stage of the joint strategic drills West-2017 on September 16 – 20,” reads the message.
It is also noted that the observation was performed on the training areas “Borysovsky” in Minsk Oblast, “Osypovsky” in Mogilev Oblast, “Domanovsky” and “Ruzhansky” in Brest Oblast.
The land fields “Lepelsky” and “Losvidovo” and some training areas in “Dretun” and Glubov region of Vitebsk Oblast were never attended.
“The openness of the Republic of Belarus “deemed open” (pre-programmed). The observers couldn’t assure the actual intentions during training forms and methods of employment of troops of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation,” the Verification Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported.
According to the conclusions by the representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the host country ignored the right of the observers to communicate with the personnel of Belarus and Russian units. Apart from that, the Belarus side declined visiting the deployment site of military units and detachments of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation in the field camps.
“The issue of the drills and practical actions of the military units and detachments involved differed significantly. The defensive subject matter of the drills in their course was inconsistent with the intentions. The military units and detachments performed offensive actions, inflicted the defeat to the enemy in the assembly area, on the airfields and approach routes,” reads the message of the Verification Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The representatives of Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, and Estonia took part in the observing the drills.
The Russian-Belarusian Russian-Belarusian West-2017 military drills started on September 14. The Defense Ministry of Belarus claimed that the joint maneuvers with Russia carry only the defensive nature. At one of the stages of Russia-Belarus military exercises West-2017 an emergency situation occurred: at Luzhsky training ground near St. Petersburg there was an involuntary launch of air-to-surface missiles from a Ka-52 helicopter. However, Russia denied this information.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov said that at the last stage of the Russian-Belarussian exercises "West-2017", Russia has worked out conventional massive nuclear missile strike.