Russia reacts to major NATO maneuvers – and threatens “severe consequences”.

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NATO wants to rehearse an emergency strike with 90,000 troops. Closer to the Russian border there is unrest – and a violent reaction.

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW – NATO plans to stage its biggest military exercise in decades: some 90,000 soldiers will simulate a hypothetical attack on alliance territory. The massive exercise, called Steadfast Defender, will last until the end of May and will include individual exercises from North America near the Russian border to NATO's eastern flank. Russia recently reacted emotionally to NATO exercises near its own border. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has now warned of “dire consequences”.

Two soldiers during a NATO exercise in 2021 at your US Air Force base in Italy. In 2024, the defense alliance began its largest military exercise in decades. © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/US Air Force

According to Moscow, NATO military exercises are “deliberately aimed at expansion”.

In the context of the war in Ukraine, the alliance's 31 member states and candidate Sweden will “demonstrate their ability to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic area by shifting forces from North America to the transatlantic,” the commander-in-chief said. NATO troops in Europe, US General Christopher Cavalli. “Unity, strength and determination” will also be demonstrated, the NATO general added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the coalition's intention to conduct military exercises near the Russian border as “provocative” in Moscow on Friday, saying it “increases the risk of military incidents and could have tragic consequences.” Europe.” However, she did not specify what consequences this would have. Zakharova added that the decision to hold military exercises near the Russian border was aimed at a deliberate escalation, Russian state news agency reported. Toss reported.

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However, the diplomat insisted that Russia had no intention of attacking NATO countries. “In this way, the alliance tries to justify its existence in the eyes of millions of Europeans and Americans, its agenda to contain Russia, justify the insane increase in military spending and somehow distract the public,” he added.

NATO Training: “Don't confuse exercise content with military reality”

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. A large scale exercise scenario is based on data German press agency A Russian attack on NATO territory would lead to the implementation of a so-called alliance case under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. “The content of the exercise should not be confused with the current political and military reality,” former NATO general Erhard Buhler said on his podcast “What to do, Mr. General?” Explained to categorize the background.

Bühler emphasized, however, that this scenario is not a forecast or an assessment of the future security situation, but rather that one is working with an imaginary opponent. Rob Bauer, head of NATO's military committee, described the exercise as preparation for a “confrontation with Russia and terrorist groups”. The alliance currently sees Russia as the biggest threat to the security of its allies.

Bauer also pointed out that society has not yet developed the necessary awareness that the military cannot act alone during conflict or war. “Whether we like it or not, the whole community will be involved,” said the head of the NATO military group. “I'm not saying things will go wrong tomorrow, but we have to recognize that it's not a given that we'll live in peace,” Bauer added. (BME)

The author wrote this article and then used the AI ​​language model for optimization at his own discretion. All information has been carefully checked. Learn more about our AI policies here.

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