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 – Seven Ukrainian military service members were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline on 26 July 2021.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted multiple strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 July 2021.

Two Russian Il-22PP electronic warfare aircraft, a Su-24 attack aircraft and an Il-76 strategic airlifter were intercepted by Italy’s and Spain’s fighters over the Baltic Sea on 29 July 2021. The incident became the first intercept of Il-22PP planes.



Rearmament and Modernization

The 217th Airborne Regiment (Ivanovo) of the 98th Airborne Division (HQ in Ivanovo) received a battalion’s batch of armored cars, probably including 31 BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicles and eight BTR-MD Rakushka amphibious armored personnel carriers.

Russian armed forces received a new batch of T-80BVM tanks.

T-80BVM tanks



Various units of the 20th Army (HQ in Voronezh) based in five Russian oblasts (administrative regions) on the borders of Ukraine and Belarus held exercises that focused on establishing field headquarters.

The Baltic Fleet’s Project 22800 Karakurt class corvette Odintsovo and Buyan-M / Project 21631 class corvette Zeleny Dol held a joint exercise in the Baltic Sea with a frigate from India’s navy.

About 1,000 troops of the Black Sea Fleet’s 810th Naval Infantry Brigade (Sevastopol, Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine) held an exercise on the occupied peninsula.


*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.