Belarusian and Russian military are actively preparing for the joint exercise "Union Shield 2019". The maneuvers will begin on September 13 at the training grounds near Nizhny Novgorod. This is the final stage of the two-year-long training of the countries' troops. The military is to repel an attack of simulated illegal militant groups. Also they are to defend state border and carry out military operations. During such maneuvers, the command staff will test the readiness of the troops of Belarus and Russia to operate together. The exercises are exclusively defensive in nature.