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

Movement of Russian military units and equipment towards Ukraine continued during the week of 7-13 February 2022. Instances were noted of Russian troops moving from the previously established gathering points near Ukraine to locations in very close proximity to the Ukrainian border. Among the Russian units recently arrived to areas near Ukraine reportedly was the 106th Airborne Division’s (HQ in Tula) 51st Airborne Regiment (Tula), the 2nd Army’s (HQ in Samara) 21st Heavy Mechanized Brigade and 385th Artillery Brigade (both based in Totskoye, Orenburg Oblast), the Northern Fleet’s 200th Mechanized Brigade (Luostari, Pechenga and Korzunovo, Murmansk Oblast), the 76th Air Assault Division’s (HQ in Pskov) 104th Air Assault Regiment (Pskov), and the 6th Army’s (HQ in Agalatovo, Leningrad Oblast) 9th Artillery Brigade (Luga, Leningrad Oblast). Other units of the 6th Army as well as many units of the 1st Tank Army (HQ in Bakovka, Moscow Oblast) also were spotted being transported towards Ukraine.  According to U.S. sources, the Russians have already deployed nearly 100 battalion tactical groups near Ukraine out of their armed forces’ 168. Meanwhile, Norwegian intelligence assessed that Russia had about 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian borders.

Reported assessment by the U.S. military and intelligence sources of the expected main directions of Russian attacks in a possible offensive against Ukraine. Source: Jiachuan Wu / NBC News

War in Ukraine – Two Ukrainian military service members were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 7-13 February 2022.

On 10 February, Russian forces deployed to Belarus launched joint exercise with the Belarusian armed forces. The exercise is supposed to last till 20 February.

A group of six Russian landing ships reached Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, Ukraine, on 10 February after passing into the Black Sea from the Mediterranean. The group includes the Baltic Fleet’s Ropucha / Project 775 class landing ships KaliningradKorolev and Minsk, as well as the Northern Fleet’s Ropucha / Project 775 class Georgiy Pobedonosets and Olenegorskiy Gornyak with the Ivan Gren / Project 11711 class landing ship Pyotr Morgunov.

The vessels, land forces and naval aviation Black Sea Fleet launched an exercise in the Black Sea and occupied Crimea, Ukraine.

Russian navy reportedly moved to gather in the Mediterranean Sea its three Slava / Project 1164 Atlant class guided missile cruisers – the Northern Fleet’s Marshal Ustinov, the Pacific Fleet’s Varyag, and the Black Sea Fleet’s MoskvaMarshal Ustinov and Varyag already were in the Mediterranean as of the week of 7-13 February 2022. This would be the first ever gathering of all three cruisers in the same area. The cruisers were to be accompanied by the Northern Fleet’s Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyer Vice-Admiral KulakovAdmiral Gorshkov / Project 22350 class frigate Admiral Kasatonov, and Project 677 Lada class diesel submarine Sankt Peterburg, as well as the Pacific Fleet’s Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class Admiral Tributs.

Russian navy reportedly intends to deploy the Caspian Flotilla ships to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

Su-30SM fighters from Russia and Belarus conducted a joint patrol of the Belarusian borders on 7 February. Two Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers conducted a patrol in the air space of Belarus on 8 February 2022.

Russian armed forces in Syria reportedly activated their electronic warfare systems during Israel’s air attack on targets near Damascus.


Rearmament and Modernization

A batch of Mi-28NM anti-armor attack helicopters reportedly has been delivered to the Russian armed forces.

Mi-28NM helicopter



prolonged series of exercises was launched by the forces of the Southern Military District in 15 locations of southern Russia, North Caucasus, and Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.


*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.