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 – On 30 September 2020, one Ukrainian soldier was wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbass frontline.

The Arctic Game – The Northern Fleet’s Project 20183 class special purpose ship Akademik Aleksandrov returned to the Severodvinsk naval base after a long-term voyage in the Arctic Ocean. The ship reports to a secret unit of the Russian armed forces, the Main Directorate for Deep Sea Research.

The Pacific Fleet’s Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyers Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov returned to Vladivostok from a two-month long-range voyage in the Indo-Pacific region, which included a joint exercise with the Indian navy.

Two Japanese fighters scrambled to intercept a Russian Mi-8 helicopter that reportedly violated Japan’s air space near the Shiretoko Peninsula on the Hokkaido Island.

A Russian Su-27 fighter reportedly intercepted military planes from the U.S. and Germany over the Baltic Sea on 28 September 2020.


Rearmament and Modernization

According to the Russians, they have launched serial production of the modernized Mi-28NM anti-armor attack helicopters.

Russian armed forces reportedly plan to equip some of their combat helicopters with suicide UAVs. The system for the launch of the suicide drones was first developed for the Mi-28NM anti-armor attack helicopters.

The 1529th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Khabarovsk) which belongs to the 25th Air Defense Division (HQ in Komsomolsk, Khabarovsk Krai) of the 11th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ in Khabarovsk) has been armed with the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. The regiment was previously armed with the S-300PS systems.

The 185th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Beryozovsky, Sverdlovsk Oblast) which belongs to the 76th Air Defense Division (HQ in Samara) of the 14th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ in Yekaterinburg) is in the process of transfer from the S-300PS to the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

S-400 systems



1,500 troops of the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division (HQ in Goryachiye Klyuchi, Iturup/Etorofu Island, Sakhalin Oblast) of the 68th Army Corps (HQ in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin Oblast) conducted an exercise on the disputed Kuril Islands. The exercise practiced resisting a naval landing

*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.