Over the past two years Russia had held three times more military exercises than NATO countries, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The newspaper conducted the research and compiled an interactive table of all the maneuvers the Kremlin has arranged in the last two years.
According to the newspaper, the West should be wary, since Russia has been arranging exercises with the participation of more than 1,500 military personnel several times more often than NATO - and this is only according to the official data, the real data may be more concerning. At the same time, Russian authorities are constantly arranging for combat readiness checks, and in the West they are not carried out at all.
In September, Russia plans to hold the Zapad 2017 military exercises near the borders of NATO member countries, the scale of which will eclipse everything that the Western world has observed on its territory. According to Western experts, 100,000 military personnel are preparing for the exercises, which are being held to check the readiness of Russian forces for combat operations, although it is claimed that only 13,000 serviceman will be participating in the maneuvers.
"This number is not accidental. If Moscow claims at least one more soldier, it will have to allow OSCE monitors to observe the exercises. They are required to do this by their membership in the organization," the article says.
According to the publication, Zapad 2017 military exercises and preparations for them are reminiscent of the times of the Cold War. After all, they will be held near the borders of the Baltic countries, the most vulnerable part of NATO.
On September 14-20, joint strategic exercises of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, Zapad 2017, will take place in Belarus.
These exercises raised concerns among NATO members. They believe that Zapad 2017 could turn out to be a Trojan horse, which will help Russia leave military equipment and troops in Belarus.