CSTO Peacekeeping Forces’ exercises “Brotherhood 2016” begin in Belarus

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The Indestructible Brotherhood 2016 exercise with the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces (CPF) began in Belarus at the Obuz-Lesnovsky range under the command of Belarusian Deputy Defence Minister Maj. Gen. Sergei Potapenko.

An opening ceremony took place on 23 August and was attended by Belarusian Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Andrei Ravkov, CSTO Deputy Secretary General Valery Semerikov, Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Sidorov, military representatives of the CSTO member states, as well as other invited guests.

The exercise is held in two stages and will last for 5 days. The CSTO Peacekeeping Forces will be trained to prepare and carry out a peacekeeping operation.

The concept of the exercise involves breaking conventional patterns and practising a number of new methods of performing peacekeeping missions in the course of today’s peacekeeping operations.

For the first time the CSTO CPF will get the mandate of the UN Security Council and will operate in a crisis area together with the UN mission. Focused efforts aimed at improving CSTO’s peacekeeping resource do not go unnoticed by representatives of other international organisations. Representatives of the UN Secretariat and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been invited to attend the exercise

The key goals of the exercise are to train commanders to prepare peacekeeping operations and control the CSTO CPF units, improve fieldcraft skills of peacekeeping units during joint operations, as well as strengthen mutual relations and cooperation between the CSTO member states.

The exercise involves peacekeeping units from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan – a total of up to 1,500 troops from the armed forces, internal troops and police of all six CSTO member states and about 300 aircraft, tanks and vehicles.

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