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.

You can see all issues of Rondeli Russian Military Digest at this page. For your convenience, we have added the Digest Content Search that helps users find the digest’s issues containing information they need using key words and phrases.

For a comprehensive geographic view of the Russian military structure see our Interactive Map of the Russian Military Forces.


Geostrategic Activities

War in Ukraine – One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another was wounded on the Donbass frontline as a result of a blast of an explosive device on 13 August 2020. Shooting on the frontline during the week of 10-16 August was limited to occasional incidents.

War in Libya – Russian Wagner group mercenaries have reportedly been spotted in Ras Lanuf, on the coast between Sirte and Benghazi.

The Arctic Game – The Northern Fleet’s group of eight ships that includes Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyer Severomorsk, as well as Ropucha / Project 775 class landing ships Aleksandr Otrakovskiy and Kondopoga, reached the port of Dikson on the Taymyr Peninsula on 10 August 2020. Then the group proceeded to the port of Dudinka, on Yenisei River, arriving there in 15 August. The ships and the naval infantry onboard were set to conduct exercises in the area.

Russian Su-27 fighters intercepted U.S. military planes over the Black Sea on 101214 and 15 August. On 11 August, three Russian MiG-31 planes reportedly intercepted a U.S. UAV over the Chukchi Sea. Japan’s military aircraft intercepted a Russian Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan on 14 August.

The Japanese military’s map of the intercepted Il-20M’s flight route



Over 12,000 troops of the Central Military District’s 2nd Army (HQ in Samara) and the 41st Army (HQ in Novosibirsk) conducted a major exercise in Russia’s four administrative regions in Siberia and the Volga region.

6,000 troops of the Southern Military District conducted series of exercises in four administrative regions of southern Russia, and in occupied Crimea, Ukraine. The exercises were held in preparation for the major Kavkaz-2020 exercise, set for September.

Russian forces on an exercise in Crimea, Ukraine

1,200 Russian troops of the 4th Military Base (a mechanized brigade-sized unit in Tskhinvali and Java, Georgia) of the 58th Army (HQ in Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania) exercised in occupied Tskhinvali Region, along with forces of Russia’s local proxy regime.

Three mechanized companies of the Operational Group of Russian Forces in TransnistriaMoldova conducted an exercise.

Russia’s air defense forces exercised in occupied Abkhazia, Georgia.


*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.