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ISW: Russia wants to present large-scale NATO exercises as a provocation


Russia is conducting an information operation to present the NATO defense exercise Steadfast Defender 2024, which begins next week and will last until May, as a provocation. This is stated in the latest report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), UNN reports.


Details

"Russia's information operation is aimed at presenting NATO's defensive actions in response to Russia's real aggression on the Alliance's eastern flank as provocative," the report says.


The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Chris Cavoli, said that 90,000 troops from all 31 NATO member states and Sweden would take part in the Steadfast Defender exercise.


"More than 50 ships, more than 80 fighters, helicopters and drones, and at least 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, will take part in the exercise," Cavoli said.


He also emphasized that NATO will "demonstrate its ability to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic space by moving forces from North America...in a simulated evolving conflict against a nearly equal adversary.


The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that NATO exercises are becoming increasingly provocative and aggressive in nature and asserted that the Alliance continues to "demonstrate force" on Russia's "doorstep." The ministry said that Russia has regularly proposed de-escalation initiatives to NATO, called for an end to provocative actions, and moved Russian military exercises inland.


"Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022 not to protect Russia from a non-existent threat from NATO, but to weaken and ultimately destroy NATO, a goal he still pursues," the analysts summarize.


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