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 Ukraine – Two Ukrainian military service members were killed and four were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 8-14 November 2021.

On 13 November 2021, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said there were about 100,000 Russian troops concentrated near his country’s borders. Meanwhile, “U.S. officials have briefed EU counterparts on their concerns” over a potential Russian military operation against Ukraine.

Two Russian Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers patrolled the airspace of Belarus together with the Belarusian Su-30 fighters on 11 November 2021. On 10 November, a similar flight in the Belarusian airspace was conducted by two Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers.

The route of Tu-160 strategic bombers on 11 November

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 11 November 2021.

Two Russian Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers were intercepted by fighters from Britain and Belgium over the North Sea during their flight on 12 November 2021.

A Russian Su-30 fighter intercepted a military plane from Britain over the Black Sea on 11 November 2021.

The Black Sea Fleet’s Moma / Project 861M class intelligence collection ship Kildin was spotted operating in the vicinity of the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, near the shore of Oman.


Rearmament and Modernization

The Central Military District received a battalion’s batch of S-300PM2 surface-to-air missile systems. It appears likely from the information in the Russian sources that the unit that has received the batch is the 388th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai) of the 41st Air Defense Division (HQ in Novosibirsk), the 14th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ in Yekateringburg).



A unit of the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) conducted a joint exercise with the Belarusian Special Forces in Grodno Oblast, Belarus, in the area close to the Lithuanian and Polish borders.

The location of the Russian-Belarusian joint exercise (map by InformNapalm)

Joint exercise of the Russian-led CSTO military alliance was held in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan. Russian armed forces were represented by the Central Military District in an exercise involving troops from ArmeniaBelarusKazakhstanKyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Overall, about 1,800 troops participated.


*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.