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 – Five Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two were wounded on the Donbass frontline during the week of 8-14 February 2021. Russian hybrid forces opened fire every day of the week.

War in Syria – On 9 February 2021, Russian Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile systems stationed at the Khmeimim air base reportedly hit an oil refinery in the village of Tarhin, located north of the city of Al-Bab, in the Turkish zone of influence in northern Syria. Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 14 February.

Norway scrambled two of its fighters on 9 February, to meet two Russian Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers during their long-range flight over Arctic waters. The flight included the Barents, Greenland, Kara and Norwegian Seas.

The route of Russian Tu-160s on 9 February 2021

Russia gifted about 40 specialized vehicles to the engineering troops of Tajikistan.


Rearmament and Modernization

Zoopark-1 counter-battery radar system has been delivered to the 227th Artillery Brigade (Krasnooktyabrskiy, Republic of Adygea) of the 49th Army (HQ in Stavropol).



On 11 February, the Black Sea Fleet’s Admiral Grigorovich / Project 11356P/M class guided missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich and Project 22160 class large patrol ship Dmitry Rogachev arrived at the port of Karachi to participate in the multilateral Aman-2021 military exercise (12-16 February 2021), organized by Pakistan.

Russian troops stationed in Syria conducted a joint exercise with the Assad regime’s tank units.

Russian Defense Ministry’s photo from the 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.