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 – One Ukrainian military service member was killed and three were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 22-28 November 2021.

Su-30SM fighter jets from Russia and Belarus conducted a joint patrol of the Belarusian border on 25 November.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 22 and 25 November 2021.

China and Russia signed military cooperation road map for 2021-2025, emphasizing plans for joint strategic military exercises and patrols.

Fighter jets from Portugal, based in Lithuania for the NATO air patrol mission, intercepted at least one Russian Tu-95MS strategic bomber over the Baltic Sea, according to information released on 22 November 2021.


Rearmament and Modernization

Russia has launched mass production of Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles for the Russian navy.



Soyuz-2.1b rocket, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast) on 25 September 2021, delivered to orbit a Russian military satellite. The satellite has been labeled Cosmos-2552.



Russian sources reported that, in the fall of 2021, Russian armed forces had conducted an exercise involving Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile systems on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic. The participating Iskanders reportedly belonged to a missile brigade based in the Central Russia, and were sent to Novaya Zemlya in the military transport aviation planes. It is probable that the missile systems belonged to the 112th Missile Brigade (Shuya, Ivanovo Oblast) of the 1st Tank Army (HQ in Bakovka, Moscow Oblast).


*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.