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

Moscow announced plans to hold the first Russia-Egypt joint naval exercise in the Black Sea. The exercise will be named “Friendship Bridge 2020.” Due to the tensions between Egypt and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, Russian invitation for the Egyptian naval ships to appear in the Black Sea is unlikely to be appreciated in Ankara.

The Arctic Game – A group of the Northern Fleet ships on an Arctic expedition since 5 August, including Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyer Severomorsk and Ropucha / Project 775 class landing ship Kondopoga, sailed from the Laptev Sea to the Kara Sea, using the northernmost route north of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago for the first time.

A Russian Su-27 fighter reportedly intercepted planes from Germany and Sweden over the Baltic Sea on 5 October 2020. On 6 October, another Su-27 intercepted four planes from Britain over the Black Sea.


Structural Changes

About 10 anti-UAV electronic warfare groups have been established in various units under the 20th Army (HQ in Voronezh).


Rearmament and Modernization

Russia conducted another test launch of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile in the Barents Sea, from the Admiral Gorshkov / Project 22350 class frigate Admiral Gorshkov.

64th Mechanized Brigade (Knyaze-Volkonskoye, Khabarovsk Krai) of the 35th Army (HQ in Belogorsk, Amur Oblast) has received Aleut type articulated all-terrain vehicles.

The Aleut vehicle



Bastion-P and Bal mobile coastal defense missile systems of the Black Sea Fleet’s 15th Coastal Missile Artillery Brigade (Sevastopol) conducted an anti-ship warfare exercise in occupied Crimea, Ukraine.

Russian troops conducted a number of exercises in occupied Abkhazia, Georgia, including drills by the artilleryreconnaissance and electronic warfare troops.

Russian electronic warfare forces serviceman launching a UAV in occupied Abkhazia, Georgia



A fire and series of explosions occurred at a munitions depot in Skopinsky District of Ryazan Oblast, as a result of a grass fire in the area. More than 2,300 residents of nearby villages had to be evacuated as a result. The depot reportedly contained 75,000 tonnes of rocket and artillery munitions.


*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.