The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, believes that the Russian Federation is using the large-scale Zapad-2017 exercises to demonstrate its ability to conduct a large-scale continental war in Europe.
He expressed this opinion at a briefing in Novy Petrivtsy, where together with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, he handed out keys to new apartments for National Guard employees, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"The Russian Federation, by conducting these exercise, is demonstrating its ability to wage a large-scale continental war in Europe and this, in their opinion, serves as a warning for the West to not interfere in new ventures, including military, which the Kremlin may provoke both in Ukraine and in other independent states in the region,” Turchynov said.
He also emphasized that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to answer any possible provocation.
Earlier, Turchynov said that the Russian-Belarusian strategic command staff exercise, Zapad-2017, would test Russia's readiness for a big war with NATO countries.
The strategic exercise, Zapad 2017, will be held from September 14th until September 20th, and will be staged simultaneously at several training ranges in Russia and Belarus. In announcing the maneuvers, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu called them "the main joint training event for Russian and Belarusian armed forces in 2017."
During a recent visit to Kyiv, the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, guaranteed that the territory of his country would not be used to invade Ukraine.