On May 24, 2022, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia Suren Papikian, a meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization was held via videoconferencing.

The defense ministers of the Republic of Belarus (Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin), of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Colonel General Ruslan Zhaksylykov), of the Kyrgyz Republic (Lieutenant General Baktybek Bekbolotov), of the Russian Federation (Army General Sergey Shoygu), of the Republic of Tajikistan (Colonel General Sherali Mirzo), as well as the CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas and the Head of the CSTO Joint Staff - Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov participated in the meeting.

Joint operational-strategic doctrine "Combat Brotherhood-2018": 11 main facts in the preparation of the Collective Forces of the CSTO


Exercises of the CSTO “Combat Brotherhood-2018”: 11 main facts


Dmitry Stefanovich

Photo: sputnik.tj

The next joint operational-strategic doctrine of the Collective Security Treaty Organization “Combat Brotherhood-2018”, which took place for a month in the territories of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, has come to an end. Large-scale maneuvers included the exercises of the reconnaissance units of the armed forces of the CSTO Poisk-2018 member states, the exercises of the CSTO CRRF “Interaction-2018”, the exercises of the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces “The Indestructible Brotherhood-2018” and the collective rapid deployment forces of the Central Asian region of the CSTO “Rubezh-2018”, as well as the exercises of the Collective Air Forces of the CSTO “Air Bridge” held for the first time. In this article, we will try to move away from the traditional format of the CSTO combat training story and look at the key events and their significance for security integration.


1. The head of the CSTO Joint Staff, Anatoly Sidorov, gave a brilliant briefing detailing the general scenario and individual events of the “Combat Brotherhood-2018”. Perhaps it would be right to refer to his slides to understand the general structure of the teaching:

As well as the details of activities within its framework:

2. We note the already traditional combination of events distributed in time and space united by a single concept. Syrian experience is the main “export commodity” of Russia during joint exercises. Given the ongoing campaign, aerospace forces were used (including bombing attacks on jihad mobiles) and negotiations were held with a conditional adversary who was called upon to lay down arms and surrender, including in Arabic.

3. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (and defense from them) rightfully became one of the basic elements of preparation for modern combat operations. During the "Search-2018" UAV "Orlan-10" helped to detect the conditional control point of the illegal armed group and plan its destruction by the forces of Russian and Kazakh intelligence officers. A group of unmanned aircraft (Orlan-10, Tachyon, Leer) was created for Interaction-2018, which ensured constant aerial reconnaissance of the area of ​​the alleged gangs. To counter the drones used as a means of fire, and the possibility of electronic warfare.

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4. The crushing firepower remains the main argument of the Russian approach to “localizing armed conflict”. In the course of the “Interaction-2018” command-and-missile school in Kyrgyzstan at the Edelweiss test site, long-range Tu-22M3 bombers were used, which delivered a preemptive strike against the advancing forces of conventional fighters, as well as the strategic missile carrier Tu-95MS. True, the turboprop veteran made only a demonstration flight, but at the same time with the development of support by the allied Kazakh multi-purpose fighters Su-30SM. Once again, he visited the Central Asian region of collective security and the operational-tactical missile system "Iskander-M", and this time the missilemen worked out a group (albeit electronic) strike on the enemy.

5. At the traditionally high level, humanitarian peacekeeping events were organized within the framework of the “Indestructible Brotherhood-2018”. Reception and accommodation of conditional refugees in a specially prepared camp (in a conditional Muslim country) was conducted by forces of the CSTO military, employees of internal affairs bodies, as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Particular attention was paid to the organization of operational identity verification and inspection of people arriving.

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6. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Military Affairs, Lieutenant-General Carlos Umberto Loyti took part in the training session on the eve of the CSTO Collective Peace-keeping forces  exercise and watched its active phase. Our peacekeepers deserve high praise.

Once again, the UN readiness to work with the CSTO in the field of peacemaking was noted.

The corresponding “road map” has been prepared, but so far, unfortunately, is not translated into a practical area of ​​mutual understanding.

7. The best school is the old school. Even the Soviet tradition to bring to the teachings in Central Asia, the honored technique is preserved - veterans of the T-72 "Ural" took part in the exercises "Interaction-2018" from Kyrgyzstan.

On the Russian side, the interest was also caused by the presence of the highly deserved wheeled self-propelled guns “Nona-SVK”, which sometimes feel free to call it “the newest”.

Rejecting irony, it is worth noting that within the framework of reconnaissance and fire circuits using modern reconnaissance and target designation systems, even objectively outdated weapons and military equipment can "give off heat"

8. The use of reconnaissance drums and reconnaissance fire complexes has become a typical form of hostilities, and past exercises have become no exception. It is this format of use of the existing technology that allows maintaining the effectiveness of an aging iron.

9. The first “Air Bridge” deserves special attention: the Collective Air Force of the CSTO on the basis of military transport aviation of Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan within the framework of a single operation ensured the transfer of more than three thousand military personnel and more than five hundred weapons and military equipment.

Currently, the development of interstate documents and agreements that will allow synchronizing flight rules and movements of troops in member countries, which ultimately contribute to the unhindered movements of the forces of the CSTO.

Collective aviation forces are one of the main assets of the CSTO, and in the long term it is in this area that cooperation with, for example, European partners in transferring pan-European contingents to, for example, African theater of operations, seems possible.

10. It should be noted that, despite the fairly intensive and successful development of all elements of the hostilities and peacekeeping operations, the CSTO Collective Forces have not yet received practical application in official peacekeeping operations. In the context of the emotional battle for the post of the Secretary General of the organization for the next year and a half, the situation is unlikely to change. I would venture to suggest that even a small and formal, but official operation, both in the CSTO area of ​​responsibility and beyond, would be extremely useful for filling the organization with content.

11. A landmark event from the point of view of personnel issues: the CRRF CSTO command headquarters in the planning and conduct of operations in 2018 first joined the officers of the CSTO Joint Staff, not as observers or intermediaries, but in the format of full participants in the process. Thus, the CSTO continues to evolve, but the key tests for the effectiveness of the Collective forces, and the viability of the organization as a whole, have not yet been passed. Maybe it's for the best.

Dmitry Stefanovich, independent military commentator

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