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 – One Ukrainian military service member was killed and 15 were wounded by Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 12-18 July 2021.

War in Syria – Russian air force reportedly conducted strikes against the Syrian rebels in Idlib region.

Russian Su-30 fighter intercepted a U.S. plane over the Black Sea on 13 July 2021 while a Su-27 fighter did so on 14 July. MiG-31 and Su-35 fighters (two of each type) intercepted three U.S. strategic bombers over the Bering Sea on 15 July. A MiG-31 fighter intercepted a U.S. plane over the Pacific Ocean near the south-eastern coast of Kamchatkaalso on 15 July.

On 16 July, Russian media reported that the Pacific Fleet’s Borei / Project 955 class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Vladimir Monomakh had returned to its naval base in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Kamchatka Krai) after a long-range expedition.


Structural Changes

Russian sources have revealed that, in late 2020, a coastal missile unit with Bastion-P and Bal mobile coastal defense missile systems was established under the Baltic Fleet in Kronshtadt, Leningrad Oblast.


Rearmament and Modernization

Two Project 02510 BK-16 class high-speed landing craft joined the Baltic Fleet on 15 July 2021.

The 120th Artillery Brigade (Yurga, Kemerovo Oblast) of the 41st Army (HQ in Novosibirsk) received six Shturm-S guided anti-tank missile systems.




Over 10,000 troops of the 20th Army (HQ in Voronezh) took part in exercises held in various regions of the central and western Russia where the 20th Army’s units are located.

Over 7,000 troops of the 6th Army (HQ in Agalatovo, Leningrad Oblast) held a week-long exercise.

photo from the exercise in Leningrad Oblast

400 Russian mechanized troops took part in an exercise in occupied Tskhinvali Region, Georgia. 500 Russian troops drilled in occupied Abkhazia, and another 1,500 troops took part in an artillery exercise in Abkhazia.

Signal units of the 58th Army (HQ in Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania) conducted exercises in the eastern North Caucasus and occupied Tskhinvali Region, Georgia.


*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.