RIGA, Oct 9 (LETA) - A number of military simulation games were reported in Latvia during the joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2017, but upon examination they were not found to have posed risks to Latvia’s national security, LETA was told at the Security Police.Representatives of the Security Police indicated that one of the main elements of military simulations is using replicas of weapons that are visually identical to real combat weapons. Also, participants of such simulations use uniforms visually resembling uniforms of foreign armed forces, including Russia and NATO member states, as well uniforms without any insignia. Persons wearing such clothes typically attract local residents’ attention and mislead both residents and state authorities about possible threats. Several such cases were reported during the Zapad maneuvers, but upon checking these reports they were not found to have caused any national security threats. Since the Security Police has been taking preventive measures for a longer period of time and paying increased attention to any activities of military or paramilitary character, or the so-called military simulation games, such as Airsoft and Lasertag, the frequency of such activities in Latvia has dropped. The Security Police are thankful to those organizers of military simulation games who heeded the advice not stage such games during the maneuvers in Latvia’s neighbor countries. The Security Police informed that amendments to the Latvian gun laws are being drafted under the Interior Ministry’s leadership to restrict the use of weapon simulators. The Security Police have found that the military action games using weapon simulators are actually used to stage tactical exercises simulating, for instance, a capture of buildings and reconnaissance activities.“Without an effective control mechanism, there is a growing risk of such tactical exercises in Latvia being used by persons supporting unlawful armed activities against other countries,” the Security Police said. The active phase of the Zapad 2017 military exercise lasted from September 14 to 20.
Published: 09.10.2017 17:52