On 19 December, the German newspaper BILD reported that two NATO intelligence sources claimed that the September exercises were a “series of tests” for a “large-scale conventional war against NATO in Europe”.
BILD had no official confirmation of the information until recently when it interviewed Estonian General Riho Terras, who confirmed the accusations that Russia had “simulated a large-scale military attack on NATO.” Terras is the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces.
In addition to Belarus, the exercises also took place in the Baltic Sea, in western Russia and in the Russian outpost of Kaliningrad. The Independent notes that, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the exercises were intended to represent a fictitious scenario related to militia attacks.
However, according to Terras, Russia lied about the nature of their military exercises.
“Let’s be clear: with Exercise Zapad 2017, Russia simulated a large-scale military attack on NATO,” Terras said.
“It did not just target the Baltic States, because it was a series of exercises covering the whole territory from the North to the Black Sea. ”
He added that “the scale and scope of the exercise as a whole was much greater than what was officially declared.”
According to BILD, the exercises involved many more troops than the 12,700 Russians initially announced. BILD sources told the newspaper that 12,000 Russian soldiers had taken part in exercises near the borders of Estonia and that more than 10,000 had participated in the area near northern Finland and Norway.
Due to a legal obligation established in the Vienna Document, a Cold War-era treaty that sets the rules for military exercises, exercises of more than 13,000 soldiers should be open to observers who can fly over and to question soldiers. According to the Independent, NATO sent an expert to a day of visitors to Russia and two to a day of visitors to Belarus.
At the time, NATO sounded the alarm over accusations that Russia was playing war games with many more troops than it had initially suggested.
“The number of troops participating in the exercises far exceeded the number announced before the exercise – the scenario was different and the geographical scope was greater than previously announced,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Last year.
That said, if the media were honest, we would see a discussion on the following issues: NATO exists as an entity only to confront Russia, it has physically invaded countries under questionable legal circumstances on several occasions, and organizes his own military exercises all the time. An undervalued military exercise last year involved 19,000 Swedish soldiers, 1,435 soldiers from the United States, 270 from Finland, 120 from France and a few others from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and the United States. ‘Estonia. Sweden is not even officially part of NATO.
These troops do not practice war for fun – the target of these exercises is Russia, and that’s no secret.
Plus important encore, comme l’a récemment appris National Interest, la Russie est principalement préoccupée par les menaces à sa sécurité en raison du fait que des documents récemment déclassifiés prouvent que la Russie a effectivement été dupée et trompée par une promesse faite par les Etats-Unis au début des années 1990 de ne pas s’étendre d’un » pouce vers l’est « .
“The [recently declassified] documents show that many national leaders were considering and rejecting NATO membership of Central and Eastern European countries in the early 1990s and 1991,” wrote George Washington University researchers. Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton in the Archives of National Security, “that NATO’s discussions in the context of the negotiations on German unification in 1990 were not at all limited to the status of East German territory, and that the subsequent complaints of the Soviet Union and Russia that they were deceived about NATO enlargement were based on contemporary memos and telcons written at the highest levels. ”
Maybe Russia is simulating an invasion of a number of allied NATO countries that are encroaching on its border, but we should understand why it might feel compelled to do so given that many countries have encircled it missiles and missiles, even after Russia has been assured that this will never happen.