Russian-Belarusian war games start, neighbours anxious

U.S. Army military vehicles stand after unloading in the port in Gdansk Poland Wednesday Sept. 13 2017

Estonia to send observers to Zapad exercise

According to Estonian Ministry of Defence spokesperson Andres Sang, Russia has made a decision to introduce the exercise to defense attachés accredited Moscow at a training rage in Luga on September 17-18; Estonia's defense attaché will also be participating in this event.

The maneuvers "are of a purely defensive nature and are not directed against any states or groups of countries", it said.

Russia holds large-scale exercises are held every four years - since 1999 - and rotate through four operational strategic commands of the Russian Armed Forces (Western, Eastern, Caucus and Central). After these military preparations many troops stayed in the area to participate in the subsequent war with Ukraine.

Russia's military show of force raises some uncomfortable questions for the alliance because North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can not yet mass large numbers of troops quickly, despite the United States' military might, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials and diplomats said.

Code-named Zapad or "West", NATO officials say the drills will simulate a conflict with the USA -led alliance meant to show Russia's ability to mass large numbers of troops at very short notice in the event of a conflict.

The Zapad 2017 military exercise is held on the border with Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.

Russian and Belarusian soldiers will march in unison today, as their countries commence the quadrennial Zapad-Russian for "West"-military exercise".

USA troops are now taking part in a multinational military exercise in Ukraine, an exercise that comes just days before Russian Federation is scheduled to launch their own massive military maneuvers that have put the region on edge. Maybe neither side. After four years of Cold War-style standoff between Russian Federation and the West, sparked by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the trust gap between the two sides is enormous.

The Zapad 2017 scenario simulates a situation in which the opposing sides are located within the actual borders of Belarus: on one side, "the Northern", which include the Belarus-Russia Union State, and on the other side "the Western", which represent a coalition of interested states such as Veishnoriya, Vesbariya and Lubeniya.

The worry over the exercises underlines the suspicions over Russian military intentions since its invasion of Ukraine three years ago. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told NATO troops in Estonia last week that the alliance will be closely monitoring Zapad exercises.

Belarusian and Russian military administrative bodies and military units will drill joint actions to improve interoperability and ensure comprehensive security in order to accomplish the assigned missions as part of the regional military force.

The US military took part in a training exercise with Baltic allies in June that included B-1 and B-52 bombers and 50 naval ships. In addition, according to military analysts, Belarus acts as the ally of the aggressor country. "So obviously we are closely watching what Russian Federation is doing".

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