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Belarus to Gather 12,800 Troops for War Games With Russia

  • Russia sends 2,500 troops for military exercises in Belarus
  • U.S. envoy said NATO is watching ‘Zapad-2021’ drills closely
Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters involved in a strategic exercise in the run-up to the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2021.

Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters involved in a strategic exercise in the run-up to the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2021.

Photographer: Erik Romanenko/TASS/Getty Images

Belarus is preparing for large-scale war games with Russia on its territory amid mounting tensions with neighboring Lithuania, a NATO member, over a migrant crisis on their border.

Some 12,800 troops, including 2,500 from Russia, are due to join the ‘Zapad-2021’ (West) military drills Sept. 10-16, the RIA Novosti news service reported Thursday, citing Belarusian Deputy Defense Minister Viktor Gulevich in Minsk.