Russia, Belarus Joint Drills Used As Pretext For NATO War Preparations

Tyler Durden's picture

«Zapad-2017» is a joint strategic military exercise of Russia and Belarus scheduled for September 14-20, 2017. NATO, the United Nations, the OSCE and other countries have been invited to send their observers. In compliance with provisions of the Vienna Document, Russia presented detailed information about the exercise on July, 13. A special briefing is planned for the OSCE. Before the exercise starts there will be an extended briefing held in Moscow. NATO officials want Russia to abide by the Vienna Document. That is exactly what Moscow and Minsk are doing. But…the alliance believes that problems remain.

Despite the policy of transparency adopted by the organizers of the exercise, NATO officials express concern and make hostile statements to instigate tensions. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite views the upcoming event as «demonstrative preparations for the war with the West». Russia’s ambassador to Lithuania, Aleksandr Udaltsov, said that the hullaballoo raised about the upcoming drills was nothing else but fearmongering. According to him, «The hysteria which is being whipped up in Lithuania is meant to score political points and justify the militaristic psychosis».

Concocted stories are going round to say that Russia wants to grab a part of Polish and Lithuanian territories in the Suwalki gap region. Baltic officials have warned  that Russia may leave troops in Belarus after the exercise. Estonian Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna strongly believes that’s what will happen. According to him, Estonia and other NATO countries possess intelligence to confirm this statement. The Russian ambassador in Minsk, Aleksandr Surikov, called the stories «unhealthy speculation».

According to official data, around 13,000 personnel will take part in the exercise at most. About 10,200 troops will be involved on the territory of Belarus, including 7,200 Belarusian military and about 3,000 Russia’s servicemen. 680 pieces of military hardware, including armored vehicles, would take part in the exercise at six different training grounds scattered across the two countries. Evidently, these forces pose no threat to the North Atlantic alliance, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is skeptical, saying, «From previous experiences related to previous exercises, we have every reason to believe that it may be substantially more troops participating than the official reported numbers».

Some NATO members believe the true number of participating troops will be 100,000. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis finds such a large buildup «simply destabilizing».

The Center for European Policy Analysis states that «Russian military exercises have become a dangerous tool, politically and militarily. The «train as you fights» approach—especially when nuclear attacks are an option—poses a serious threat to the West». According to it, «We must also be able to send clear unambiguous messages of unity, cohesion and readiness». That’s the rub. The messages are really sent. The exercise is used to justify war preparations by the NATO alliance.

The recent steps taken to militarize North Europe are just another example. There are many more.

It’s no coincidence that Estonia, a small Baltic country with the government expressing special concern over the upcoming exercise, has become a special destination for US Vice President Mike Pence on his European trip (July 30-August 2, 2017). He said that plans to boost military presence are underway in addition to some 4,000 troops and military hardware in the three Baltic states and Poland to counter Russia's presence in the Baltic Sea region. According to the vice president, the US is considering deploying Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Estonia. The issue was discussed with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on July 30.

Lithuania and Poland have also said that they want American air defense systems deployed on their soil. Patriot is not Aegis; it has rather limited capability against ballistic missiles. The system is not a threat to Russian strategic systems. But it will be evolved. Patriot modifications may acquire ballistic missile capability. What matters is that infrastructure will be in place. Other systems, like ballistic missile capable Aegis, could be deployed there, too.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on July 31 that the United States will increase its military presence on the territory of Lithuania at the time of Zapad-2017 will be held. US Air Force aircraft will arrive at the Siauliai base to carry out an air policing mission in the Baltic region. «During the West-2017 exercises, the US will double the usual number of fighter aircraft stationed in Lithuania», she said, noting that also «there will be more military, hardware and ships». A rotating contingent of Lithuania’s NATO allies involving 100 personnel and four fighter jets is stationed at the Lithuanian Zokniai air base. Four more fighter jets are stationed at Estonia’s Amari facility. In June, a 1,000-member NATO force of troops from Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway came to be stationed in Lithuania as a «rotational» force. Battle groups from the UK and Canada moved to Poland, Latvia, and Estonia. Estonia hosts troops from Britain, France and the United States.

The more US forces and weapon systems are stationed in the Baltic states, the more politically dependent on Washington they become. For instance, a Lithuanian state-owned gas trading company will receive the first delivery of US imported LNG in August. The LNG costs more than pipeline-supplied gas but that’s what military and political dependence does, making one pay for it. Military exercises come and go but increased US military presence remains to bolster political influence.

In June, NATO held a large-scale exercise in the region called Saber Strike. Three US strategic bombers supported BALTOPS and Saber Strike large-scale training events.

So, large-scale military exercises conducted by NATO are routine events not to worry about but a Russian-Belorussian training event is something extraordinary to raise hue and cry and use it as a pretext for military expansion. That’s how Zapad-2017 serves as a spook used for propaganda purposes.

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Yen Cross's picture

 Everything is awesome.    BTFATH, and a snowcone

Mr 9x19's picture

all top notch combat pilots must know all technics such roll barrels and al, but the one i prefer is from american pilots :

python_snake's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it.!pa86d: Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Manthong's picture


I love them ancient wart hogs..

They don't make them like that anymoar.

Jubal Early's picture

If the Baltic states ZOG puppets get their way, the warthogs will not protect their people from SS-21's.  Now who would want to see all those whites genocided?

Besides, the SU-25 will hold its own.  Do you remember the time that Ukranian SU-25 even took out an Airliner flying at 30000 feet.  I'd like to see a wart hog do that.

Koba the Dread's picture

I remember quite well when the Ukrianian SU-25 took out the Malayisan airliner, but thanks for reminding others of that evil event.

Nexus789's picture

No they make the JSF. 

Yen Cross's picture

 I agree. How exactly, does your inquiry relate to my comment?

 I'm working on multi engine certs. Are you asking for investment advice?

   Keep your $'s in a credit union, and do NOT buy any property.

Manthong's picture


..also a community bank

the credit union is a bit hard to get cash out of on demand.

JPM had most all my business for years...

now they have a bit of my debt and almost none of my capital.

Mr 9x19's picture

the only advice i can give is long gun and ammo.


airplanes are overrated.


Arnold's picture

I cannot do volume work, reloading depleted uranium shell cases.

ACP's picture

Why doesn't Trump just launch a pre-emptive strike against California? They are a bigger threat than any other country in the world.

BrownCoat's picture

How about a preemptive strike against the Deep State imbedded in the Executive Branch. Fire them all and let the Flying Spaghetti Monster sort 'em out!!

Eager Beaver's picture

Why dun't muh Trump save muh freedum?

medium giraffe's picture

those fucking russians, invading syria, iraq, libya, using chemical weapons, funding terrorists, running guns, drugs and kids, reading everyone's email and murdering anyone critical of their insane regime.  fascist monsters! 

only the white knights of NATO can save us all!

Truthoutthere's picture

Vladimir Putin ate my homework.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ medium,

Love. Sarcastic post of the year.

How dare they?

Doom and Dust's picture

Of course Lithuanians of all Baltic states are most enthusiastic about US/ZATO warmongering vs Russia - they only have about 5% Russians within their borders. Estonia and Latvia have Russian minorities of >25%, so much riskier for them.

Still without the former Warsaw pact nations, Europeans would conveniently ignore the anti-Russian sentiment being whipped up by US zionists. To them it's all so fake it could be a hollywood production.


SoDamnMad's picture

Lithuania shares it borders with Belarus who does not want to be a launching pad for any aggression with the west.  Lithuania is spending more money on stabilizing the hillside of Gediminas Tower than it does on weapons systems. Of course the removal from the Lithuanian military of American gifted M-14s by the Interior Ministry for private sale (cheap) to "friends" and the constant untendered purchases of "golden spoons" make their defense intentions rather suspect.  The President is a good drum beater for war. Now when the Brexit sends thousands of workers back home  it will be hell to pay to balance the budget but then...

Yen Cross's picture

Enough sphincter hammerings.


 I know how this story ends. Bitchez

BritBob's picture
Russia/Ukraine – Crimea - If it ever went to court Russia would lose

As successor states to the Soviet Union, both Ukraine and Russia are signatories to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Adopted in Helsinki in 1975, the document sought to promote détente during an era of Cold War geopolitical tensions in Europe.

For relevant facts (1 page)

Gibraltar – Helsinki Accord 1975 (1 page)

In the same respect, Spain's claim to Gibraltar has also been signed away.


Horse Pizzle's picture

Russian incursions into Crimea and Ukraine are responsible for the military buildup in Poland, Romania, Baltics, and Ukraine.  Also responsible for US LNG supplies to Europe.  Also responsible for sanctions.  Also responsible for manipulation of oil prices down to $45/bbl.  Also responsible for collapse of Ruble.

hoytmonger's picture

You fail to mention the US/EU backed violent coup in Ukraine. Which is responsible for Ukraine becoming another Somalia. The Oligharchs that now run Ukraine even steal the funds to keep toilet paper in government bathrooms.

Crimean civilians cheered for the Russians as they drove their tanks in and voted to join Russia. Eastern Ukraine wishes to secede and join Russia as well.


HowdyDoody's picture

Tillerson has come out saying sanctions won't be removed until Russia complies with the Minsk Protocols relating to Ukraine. That is BS for several reasons. Firstly Russia is just an observer. Secondly,  the Minsk Protocol, signed by Ukraine, states that all foreign military units should leave Ukraine. The only foreign military units there are NATO forces. So basically, the genius Tillerson is telling Russia that sanctions will stay until the US removes its NATO forces.  The only conclusion Russia can make is that the US government is nuts, deranged, out of its tree, off its trolley, out to lunch, etc, etc.


Joe A's picture

Yugoslavia was also a signatory to the Helsinki accord. That did stop countries such as the US, the UK, France and Germany from interfering in the affairs of Yugoslavia, not respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In geopolitics, accords are worth the paper they were written on. Gentleman's agreements also don't mean anything. NATO had an unwritten agreement with Russia to not expand further Eastwards after the iron curtain came down. Yet it did. You can't blame former Warsaw Pact countries for wanting to be a member of a security organization but there is a difference between that and putting military hardware right on Russia's border.

Back in the Cold War during one of those big NATO exercises, the SU believed an attack on the Warsaw Pact was imminent and they prepared for war. Putting military hardware in close proximity to each other is an accident (or false flag) waiting to happen.

Mike Masr's picture

Crimea is Russia and unless we want thermonuclear World War III will remain Russia!!!

silverer's picture

Here's your future of any court decisions: The native American Indians lost. They won in court and still lost back in the 1800's. Totally fucked over by the US government. Relax, BritBob. This will all be settled soon via nuclear war. Even though Crimea voted to be back where they started from, that didn't satisfy the narrative of the west. The west only likes elections that end up approving the narrative. The west wants Russia to cave in to demands and be a vassal state. I don't see it happening. So nuclear war is the solution. That will create an ideal future for everyone. They are so fucking smart, these "representatives" and politicians. You can piss on the rule of law, BritBob. It means nothing to anyone anymore. War is where we are going, BritBob, because humans are such noble creatures, created in the image of God. Destruction is the only path. Built right into the DNA.

WTFUD's picture

The Great Unwashed in these bankrupt vassal minnows are sleep-walking. Wake the fuck up Dummies before Uncle Sham/Goldman bleed you dry.

dogismycopilot's picture

The Baltics states love pumping Uncle Sam for money. This is just a marketing gimmick for them to get some more love from Uncle Sam.

Mike Masr's picture

The US deep state has a hard on for thermonuclear World War III with Russia.

It won't end until nuclear winter begins!

silverer's picture

How far can one get their head up one's ass? I think we have a demonstration coming soon.

RDouglas's picture

Shouldn't the headline read Russian, Belarus war preparations used as pretext for NATO war preparations. I mean, you know, preparing for war is preparing for war. Oh yeah, almost forgot ZH has become a distributor of Russian Agit-prop.