Rondeli Russian Military Digest

Rondeli Russian Military Digest: Issue 79, 15 March - 21 March 2021

Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation

Rondeli Russian Military Digest is a weekly brief that reports key activities by and developments within the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Researchers, civil servants and everyone else interested in what is going on in the military of one of the most dangerous nations on the planet – tune in and enjoy.

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Geostrategic Activities

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 20 and 21 March 2021.

War in Ukraine – Russian hybrid forces killed three and wounded one of Ukrainian troops on the frontline in Donbas during the week of 15-21 March 2021. Firing incidents on the frontline occurred every day of the week.

A Russian Mi-8 military helicopter violated Ukraine’s airspace in the country’s Sumy Oblast on 16 March 2021.

The joint military training center that Russia and Belarus intend to establish in the latter country’s western Grodno Oblast is now reported to be air and air defense forces training center. It will involve “joint training of Su-30SM airplane crews” and “training of Belarusian specialists for work with the Russian Federation armed forces’ modern anti-aircraft missile systems.” The joint center project deserves further close monitoring as it develops, in case it turns out to be a form of a Russian military base in Belarus.

Russians reportedly have “repeatedly tried to jam signals in an act of electronic warfare” against Britain’s aircraft taking off from the British base in Cyprus. The attempts were reported to be unsuccessful.

The Baltic Fleet’s Steregushchiy / Project 20380 class corvette Stoikiy, on a long-range expedition since 16 December 2020, entered Port Sudan on 18 March 2021, before going back to the sea on 19 March.

A group of the Baltic Fleet’s three landing ships, escorted by Steregushchiy / Project 20380 class corvette Boikiy, passed through the English Channel on 20 March 2021, moving westward and turning south. The group included Ropucha II / Project 775.2 class landing ships Kaliningrad and Minsk, and Ropucha III / Project 775.3 class landing ship Korolev.

The route of the Baltic Fleet’s ships by 20 March 2021



Russian Aerospace Forces practiced transferring their equipment to airfields in Belarus in a joint drill with its armed forces.

The 247th Air Assault Regiment (Stavropol) and the 1141st Artillery Regiment (Anapa, Krasnodar Krai) of the 7th Air Assault (Mountain) Division (HQ in Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Krai) held an exercise in occupied Crimea, Ukraine. Over 2,000 troops participated, along with Russian military aircraft.


Arms Exports

Algeria reportedly has ordered 300 Russian BMPT-72 Terminator 2 armored fighting vehicles.


*The weekly number of exercises in the Russian armed forces is very large. Therefore, all cannot be included in this digest. The exercises that are included are selected by the author for their strategic significance, particularly large scale, involvement of numerous units and locations, and/or involvement of other nations’ territories under the Russian occupation.

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