Air Platforms

Russia’s Zapad 2017 exercise will unfold calmly, allied sources and others predict

13 September 2017

Fears that Moscow will use its annual ‘Zapad’ exercise to make incursions against the Baltics or Poland – especially in the form of a cyber attack – are overblown, according to NATO sources and Russian strategy experts.

However, the week-long event could be used to intimidate Belarus to stay firmly within the Russian fold or to divert the West’s attention away from Moscow’s manoeuvring in Europe’s so-called High North region and elsewhere, they said.

Russia’s 14-20 September ‘Zapad 2017’ exercise takes place in Belarus and in Russia’s North-West Military District and Kaliningrad enclave.

“One of our concerns is that Russia would leave behind pre-positioned equipment in Belarus.

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