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 – Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 18 were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbass frontline during the week of 22-28 February 2021.

War in Syria – Russian air force was reported conducting strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 23 and 26 February 2021. According to another report, Russian troops began to establish a new outpost in Al Tebni, northwest from Deir ez-Zor in the Assad-controlled part of eastern Syria.

On 28 February 2021, the Black Sea Fleet’s Admiral Grigorovich / Project 11356P/M class guided missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich became the first of the Russian Federation’s warships to visit Port Sudan. The visit comes after the recently signed agreement between Russia and Sudan to set up a base for Russian naval ships in this port city.

The Baltic Fleet’s Steregushchiy / Project 20380 class corvette Stoikiy, on a long-range expedition since 16 December 2020, was operating in the Gulf of Aden as of 26 February 2021.


Structural Changes

UAV company has been created within the 336th Naval Infantry Brigade (Baltiysk, Kaliningrad Oblast) of the Baltic Fleet. It is armed with Eleron-3 and Orlan-10 drones.


Rearmament and Modernization

The 34th Mechanized (Mountain) Brigade (Storozhevaya, Karachay-Cherkess Republic) of the 49th Army (HQ in Stavropol) has received about 100 of the Fagot anti-tank missile systems.



Over 1,000 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) held an exercise on the disputed Kuril Islands. Assets of the Pacific Fleet and the 11th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ in Khabarovsk) were also involved in the exercise.

Russian and Syrian troops held a joint exercise at the naval base in Tartus, Syria.

400 troops from the tank units of the Russian occupation forces in Crimea, Ukraine, held an exercise. Russian artillery drilled in Abkhazia, Georgia.

Russian tanks on an exercise in Crimea


Arms Exports

Russia reportedly will supply S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and UAVs to Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces.


*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.