ITAR-TASS 178: IVANOVO, RUSSIA. SEPTEMBER 29, 2009. Paratroopers of the Russian 98th Airborne Division get aboard a transport plane before leaving for Belarus to participate in an active phase of the large-scale Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad [West] 2009. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Vladimir Smirnov) 178. Россия. Иваново. 29 сентября. Военнослужащие 98-й дивизии ВДВ во время отправки в Белоруссию, где пройдет активная фаза российско-белорусских учений “Запад-2009”. Фото ИТАР-ТАСС/ Владимир Смирнов

MINSK, September 26. /TASS/. During the Slavic Brotherhood-2020 military exercise, servicemen of Belarus and Russia practiced repelling a military aggression against the Union State, the chief of the Belarusian Armed Forces’ General Staff told the Belarus-1 TV channel.

“A joint grouping of [Russian and Belarusian] forces practiced tasks related to repelling a joint aggression against the Union State,” First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Alexander Volfovich said.

“As part of this stage [of the exercises], the troops practiced capturing defense lines and positions, combat actions aimed at holding a tactical defense zone, fire support of defending troops, airborne assault, aviation support,” he said.

The first phase of the Russian-Belarusian exercise Slavic Brotherhood-2020 began in Belarus on September 14. Russia delegated units from an airborne assault regiment of the Pskov airborne force. Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said the exercise followed counter-terrorist scenarios and was not aimed against other countries.

The second phase of the exercise was held in western Belarus on September 22-September 25. Russia sent over 900 servicemen and about 100 pieces of military equipment.

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