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

On 20 November 2020, Moscow reported that its forces completed the deployment (launched on 10 November) to their new bases in Nagorno-Karabakh. The forces, comprising about 2,000 troops, are stationed at 23 posts in the conflict region.

Russian Defense Ministry’s map of the Russian deployment in Karabakh from 22 November 2020

War in Ukraine – One Ukrainian soldier was wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbass frontline on 19 November 2020. Ukrainian side reported daily ceasefire violations by Russians during the week of 16-22 November.

War in Ukraine – The OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine spotted a Russian Navodchik-2 ground drone control station deployed in Donbass. The system and its UAVs are designed to perform reconnaissance, in particular for the artillery.

Navodchik-2 system spotted by the OSCE mission

The Arctic Game – Russia has stationed Nebo-M mobile air and missile defense radars near Naryan-Mar, Nenets Autonomous Okrug. According to the Russians, this will contribute to their control of the air space over the Northern Sea Route.


Rearmament and Modernization

A new Project 22800 Karakurt class corvette Odintsovo joined the Baltic Fleet on 21 November 2020. The ship’s armament includes Kalibr cruise missiles and Pantsir-M air defense system.


One of the mechanized regiments in the 127th Mechanized Division (HQ in Sergeyevka, Primorsky Krai) of the 5th Army (HQ in Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai) received several dozen new BTR-82AM armored personnel carriers.



Egypt’s navy and the Russian Black Sea Fleet launched a joint exercise in the Black Sea.

Tajikistan’s armed forces and over 3,000 Russian troops of the 201st Military Base (a mechanized division-sized unit based in Dushanbe and Bokhtar, Tajikistan) conducted a joint exercise.


*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.