September 14 begin a large-scale military exercises «Zapad-2017». According to official information, the participation of about 12.700 Russian and Belarusian troops. They work out the reflection of aggression of three fictional States of NATO, located on the territory of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
As stated, the exercises involved 70 aircraft and helicopters, 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces and mortars, as well as 10 warships of the Baltic fleet. Will also work out issues of command and control.
Maneuvers cause considerable concern – not only in the Baltic States. The commander of us forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges called them a «Trojan horse», adding that he could not rule out attempts of penetration of Russian troops on the territory of NATO States.
The Minister of defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis expressed fears that the exercise will provoke a regional conflict. «We can’t stay calm. On the Lithuanian border are concentrated masses of foreign troops,» he said. In the Baltic countries remember the «polite green men» emerged in Crimea in 2014.
The head of the defense Ministry of Germany Ursula von Leyen called «West-2017» demonstration of force by the Russian Federation. She said that according to German estimates, the exercise involved about 100,000 soldiers.
Representatives of the Russian military establishment claim that these data are taken from the ceiling. Deputy Minister of defense of Russia Alexander Fomin stressed that the exercises are defensive in nature, adding that the citizens of the Baltic countries can sleep peacefully.
Block NATO is not going to take response actions during the exercise. At the same time neutral Sweden holds maneuvers to repel the attempted landing of a foreign army on the island of Gotland. The exercises involved 19.000 soldiers. «The situation has changed for the worst,» stated the commander of the armed forces of the Kingdom, General Michael Biden.
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