Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation

Rondeli Russian Military Digest is a weekly brief that reports key activities 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 six were wounded by the Russian hybrid forces on the Donbas frontline during the week of 9-15 August 2021.

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

War in Libya – A BBC investigation uncovered some of the details concerning Russian involvement in Libya. The evidence included confirmation of war crimes committed by the Russian Wagner group mercenaries in that country.

The Arctic Game – A group of the Northern Fleet ships left for a long-range expedition in the Arctic region on 10 August 2021. The group includes Udaloy I / Project 1155 Fregat class anti-submarine destroyer Severomorsk and support ships. It is set to be joined by other ships on various stages of the expedition.


The Arctic Game – Improved Yug / Project 862.2 class intelligence collection ship Gorizont left for an Arctic expedition on 14 August 2021. It will reportedly operate in the Barents and Kara Seas.


Structural Changes

Information in Russian sources indicates that Russians are planning to establish one more missile brigade armed with Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile systems.


Rearmament and Modernization

The 201st Military Base (mechanized division with HQ in Dushanbe, Tajikistan) reportedly received long-range flamethrowers9K333 Verba man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and several types of small armed including AK-12 assault rifles.

A new batch of T-90M tanks has been delivered to the Russian armed forces.

Ten BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicles have been delivered to the 138th Mechanized Brigade (Kamenka, Leningrad Oblast) of the 6th Army (HQ in Agalatovo, Leningrad Oblast).

Russian armed forces received a batch of modernized 2S3M2 Akatsiya 152.4 mm self-propelled guns.



Russia’s and China’s troops held a joint exercise in Ningxia, China. Russian troops taking part came from the Eastern Military District. Overall between 10,000 and 13,000 troops from both countries participated.

Chinese and Russian defense ministers watching the exercise

A joint Russia-Laos exercise was launched in Primorsky Krai.

Ten attack aircraft from the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet and four from the 4th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ in Rostov-on-Don) conducted a bombing exercise in occupied Crimea, Ukraine.


*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.