NEWSWATCH: “Contact averts conflict. Why Russia is foolish not to invite NATO observers to its war games. Instead, the biggest exercises in Europe since the cold war will be conducted amid secrecy and mistrust.” – The Economist editorial

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… Russia will hold … the biggest military exercise in Europe since the end of the cold war. According to NATO estimates … involv[ing] at least 100,000 troops …. Revived from Soviet times by … Putin … the Zapad (West) drills … take place every four years. … the Kremlin insists that the scenarios … are purely defensive [but] that is not always how they have looked to its neighbours …. The climax of Zapad 2009 was a dummy nuclear strike on Warsaw … Zapad 2013 was less overtly aggressive, but much of the new equipment … and … tactical techniques … were put to use barely six months later when it annexed Crimea and launched a covert invasion of eastern Ukraine. The attack on Ukraine itself started out as a ‘snap’ military drill which gave cover for Russia’s real intentions. … Putin … used the same ruse in the invasion of Georgia in 2008.  The secrecy that cloaks Russian military exercises only makes them more threatening. … ignoring calls for greater transparency from … OSCE ….”

Click here for: “Contact averts conflict. Why Russia is foolish not to invite NATO observers to its war games. Instead, the biggest exercises in Europe since the cold war will be conducted amid secrecy and mistrust.” – The Economist editorial

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