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Zapad 2021: Putin oversees massive Russia-Belarus war games as joint military drills continue

CA, 14 Sep 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw vast joint military exercises with Belarus on Monday, as NATO member Poland voiced concern over the drills.

The sprawling "Zapad-2021" war games will run until Thursday at numerous sites in Russia and ex-Soviet Belarus, some of which are close to NATO's borders. They have caused alarm in neighbouring countries such as Ukraine.

The drills are held every four years, but this year's exercise has been seen as a particular signal of Russia's support for Belarus and its leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has been ostracized by the West for cracking down on dissent.

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