Russia makes use of new {hardware} at huge navy drills


Russia used new fight robots and tactical automobiles on the second day of the energetic essential part of enormous navy drills with its ex-Soviet ally Belarus, the defence ministry mentioned on Saturday.

The “Zapad-2021” battle video games, which is able to run till subsequent Thursday on Russia and Belarus’s western flanks together with websites near the European Union’s borders, have alarmed Ukraine and a few NATO international locations.

Troops used Platform-M fight robots, that are managed remotely and armed with grenade launchers and a machine gun, the ministry mentioned in an announcement. Russian information businesses mentioned it was the primary time such {hardware} had been used.

Learn extra: WATCH: Russia showcases new arms at drill close to Afghan border

New Sarmat-2 tactical automobiles have additionally been used, Russian media mentioned.

President Vladimir Putin denies the drills are directed towards any overseas energy and says they’re wise given elevated NATO exercise close to Russia’s borders and people of its allies.

Neighbours resembling Ukraine and NATO members Poland and Lithuania say such huge workout routines so near the frontier threat being provocative.

Additionally learn: Pak Navy conducts joint drills with Russia and Sri Lanka

“We have to realise that this (a Russian navy assault on Estonia) could certainly occur within the coming years,” Martin Herem, commander of the Estonian Defence Forces mentioned in an interview on Friday night.

“Russia’s aim seemingly is not to occupy us – it doesn’t need to acquire management by way of occupation, nevertheless it enjoys instability and affect by way of instability,” the BNS information wire quoted him as saying.

The manoeuvres are held each 4 years, however this yr’s drill has been seen as a selected sign of Russia’s help for Belarus and its chief Alexander Lukashenko, who has been ostracised by the West for cracking down on dissent.

Russia sees Belarus as a strategically necessary buffer to its west, and helped to maintain Lukashenko in energy with loans and political backing whereas he crushed a well-liked rebellion final yr.


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