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 – Three Ukrainian military service members were killed and eight were wounded by Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 5-11 July 2021.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 9 and 10 July 2021.

Two fighter jets from Spain, deployed to Lithuania, scrambled to intercept two Russian Su-24 attack aircraft over the Baltic Sea on 8 July 2021.

Lithuanian Ministry of Defense stated that NATO fighters deployed to an air base in Lithuania scrambled to intercept Russian military planes over the Baltic Sea 15 times in June 2021.

U.S. military planes were intercepted over the Black Sea by Russian Su-30SM fighters on 6 July, and by Su-27 and Su-30SM fighters on 11 July. A plane from France was intercepted over the Baltic Sea on 8 July by a Su-27 fighter.

The large group of the Pacific Fleet warships that had held an exercise near the Hawaiian Islands in mid-June, returned to Vladivostok on 8 July 2021.


Rearmament and Modernization

The tank battalion of the 126th Coastal Defense Brigade (Perevalnoye/Perevalne, occupied Crimea, Ukraine) of the Black Sea Fleet’s 22nd Army Corps (HQ in Simferopol, occupied Crimea, Ukraine) launched rearmament with T-72B3M tanks.

T-72B3M tank

Over fifty 9K333 Verba man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) were delivered to the 205th Mechanized Brigade (Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai) of the 49th Army (HQ in Stavropol).

Russians have reportedly launched serial deliveries of the Terminator-2 armored fighting vehicles to their armed forces.



Forces of the Black Sea Fleet’s 22nd Army Corps (HQ in Simferopol, occupied Crimea, Ukraine) held an exercise in Crimea.

Two Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers of the Heavy Bomber Regiment belonging to the 22nd Heavy Bomber Division (HQ in Engels, Saratov Oblast) of the Long Range Aviation Command (HQ in Moscow) flew about 7 thousand kilometers from their Engels air base (Saratov Oblast) to the Anadyr air base (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) in the Arctic, as a part of a Russian long range aviation 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.