Russian/Belarussian Military Exercises Threatening NATO?

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Russian/Belarussian Military Exercises Threatening NATO?

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Most everything reported about Russia in the West is distorted and fabricated – part of longstanding US-led vilification of the country because of its sovereign independence and opposition to America’s imperial agenda.

Upcoming Russian/Belarussian military exercises threaten no one – not NATO countries, its neighbors or any others. Holding these exercises is essential because of the threat US imperialism poses – wanting all independent countries transformed into pro-Western ones, a prescription for endless wars of aggression.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister General Alexander Fomin called Zapad-2017 military exercises strictly defensive, blasting allegations they’re rehearsing invasions of neighboring countries.

Last week, he “emphasize(d) that apart from its anti-terrorist components, the Zapad-2017 exercise is of a purely defensive character,” adding:

“For several months, major mass media outlets around the world have been disturbing the public with myths about the Russian military threat.”

“Politicians followed suit. They invent the most unbelievable ways for the events to develop. Some even allege that Zapad-2017 could become a launchpad for a future attack with subsequent occupation of Lithuania, Poland or Ukraine.”

“None of these paradoxical theories has anything to do with reality, as has been repeatedly stated by Russian and Belarusian officials.”

NATO and OSCE member states were informed of the exercises well in advance, international monitors invited to observe them.

They’re not preparations for war. Russia and Belarus never attacked or threatened another country in their post-Soviet history. They threaten none now. Claims otherwise are absurd and insulting.

Exercises scheduled from September 14 – 20 in Belarus and Western Russia, involving about 70 aircraft, 250 tanks, 200 cannon and rocket artillery systems, 10 ships and about 12,000 servicemen.

On Thursday, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen irresponsibly claimed Russia intends sending more than 100,000 troops to NATO’s eastern flank next week.

“It is undisputed that we are seeing a demonstration of capabilities and power of the Russians,” she blustered.

It’s “undisputed” that Russia poses no threat to any nation, its military exercises purely defensive, a small fraction of the troop strength von der Leyen claimed involved. It’s no demonstration of force. Von der Leyen knows it but pretended otherwise.

In contrast, US-dominated NATO poses a serious threat to Russian security, positioning its forces near its border, operating provocatively in the Black Sea and near its airspace, surrounding the country with US military bases.

NATO General Petr Pavel lied claiming “Russia has a global strategy of a visible, deliberate demonstration of force. They have a strategy of intimidation.”

US-installed putschist Ukrainian puppet president Poroshenko disgracefully called Zaped-2017 a threat to his country. He and his regime are its only threats.

Days earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said it’s “evident that those countries seeking to exacerbate the situation as much as possible ahead of the exercises make various unfounded accusations.”

America and its rogue allies invent reasons to bash Russia, ignoring their unaccountable war crimes.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.