BERLIN/MOSCOW – Exactly 25 years ago, the last echelon of Russian soldiers departed to go back home from East Germany. They were deployed there in accordance with the agreement with the Allies after the victory over Hitler’s Nazi regime. They left, but the American and British occupation troops are still in Germany. A big documentary on the Western Group of Forces of the Soviet Army was shot by Vesti News Russian military reporter, Alexander Sladkov. It’s called The Last Eastward Echelon. It will air on Rossiya 1, later today, on September 8th, but Vesti News showed us a clip.
Western Group of Forces was the largest, the most combat-ready and the most heavily armed unit of the massive Soviet Army. It was a grouping of forces armed with all kinds of weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons. Until 1987, when the now-defunct INF Treaty was signed, it was even more powerful, armed with RSD-10 Pioneer (NATO reporting name SS-20 Saber), which even had MIRV capabilities.