16 Sep 2017 20:43

Belarusian Defense Ministry dismisses allegations about 100,000 servicemen taking part in Zapad 2017 drills

MINSK. Sept 16 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Defense Ministry has dismissed the information about 100,000 servicemen taking part in the joint Belarusian-Russian Zapad 2017 exercise as untrue.

"This figure of 100,000 absolutely does not correspond to reality," Belarusian Defense Ministry ideological propaganda main directorate spokesman Vladimir Makarov told reporters in Minsk on Saturday in reply to the relevant question.

The Belarusian and Russian defense ministries have repeatedly and via different channels informed interested sides about the numbers of servicemen involved in the drills, Makarov said.

Overall numbers of participants in the training are about 12,700, while about 10,000 personnel are taking part in the drills in the territory of Belarus, he went on to say.

The Zapad 2017 strategic exercise is under way on September 14-20.