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 military service member was killed and three were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 2-8 August 2021.

War in Syria – Russian air force conducted strikes in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib region on 5 August 2021.

Britain’s fighters intercepted two Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft over the North Sea on 6 August 2021.

Royal Air Force took pictures of the Russian planes it intercepted

Russian military instructors trained the Assad regime’s troops in Syria in the use of flamethrowers.

The process of instruction


Rearmament and Modernization

A batch of eight BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicles was delivered to the 2nd Mechanized Division (HQ in Kalininets, Moscow Oblast) of the 1st Tank Army (HQ in Bakovka, Moscow Oblast).



Naval, land and air forces of the Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command launched drills reportedly involving about 10,000 troops.

Russian troops from the 15th Mechanized Brigade (Roshchinsky, Samara Oblast) of the 2nd Army (HQ in Samara) and the 3rd Special Forces Brigade (Tolyatti, Samara Oblast) held a joint exercise with the armed forces of Uzbekistan near that country’s border with Afghanistan. Four Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers also engaged in this exercise.

Another joint exercise was launched in the area of Tajikistan close to the Afghan border. Along with that country’s armed forces, troops from Russia and Uzbekistan participated. The exercise involved about 2,500 troops from the three countries, including 1,800 Russians.

250 India’s troops and the same number from the Russian side launched a joint Indra-2021 exercise in Russia’s Volgograd Oblast.

The 1096th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Sevastopol) of the Black Sea Fleet’s 22nd Army Corps (HQ in Simferopol, occupied Crimea, Ukraine) held an air defense exercise on the occupied peninsula.

Russian Defense Ministry’s photo from the exercise in Crimea


*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.