In September, Russia and Belarus will begin the massive "Zapad 2021" strategic military exercises. The drills, staged every four years, will combine thousands of troops from Russia and Belarus to stress test their mobility, readiness, and interoperability. Following Russia’s major military build-up near Ukraine’s border and civil unrest in Belarus, what should the West expect from these exercises? What will they signal about Russian capabilities and intentions?

To preview and contextualize the Zapad exercises, an expert panel will unpack the exercises’ implications for NATO's own mobility and broader defense and deterrence efforts in Europe.

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Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair, Center for European Policy Analysis 

George ZambellasFormer First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Navy 

Egle MurauskaiteSenior Researcher and Simulation Designer, ICONS Project, University of Maryland  

Alex TierskySenior Policy Advisor, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe 



Lauren SperanzaDirector, Transatlantic Security Program, Center for European Policy Analysis

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