The actual goals of these exercises in general, and of Zapad-2017 in particular, have remained largely unchanged in the last 10–15 years. In conducting these large capstone exercises, Russia has pursued both military and political aims. On the military side, Russia seeks to highlight its abilities to conduct large-scale joint operations that involve multiple branches of its armed forces and require the activation of logistics networks that include the transfer of forces from one part of the country to another. Zapad-2017 and other exercises in this series also seek to develop military cooperation between Russia and Belarus, since Belarus is Russia’s most capable military ally and serves as a critical buffer zone between Russian and NATO member states. What’s more, a NATO intervention in Belarus is seen as one of the most likely causes for a major military confrontation between Russia and the West. Läs artikel
Anm: Dmitry Gorenburg is a senior research scientist in the Strategic Studies division of CNA, a not-for-profit research and analysis organization, where he has worked since 2000. In addition to his work at CNA, he is the editor of the journal Problems of Post-Communism and an associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.