Russia’s Giant Military Exercise Wasn’t A Cover For War After All (HBO) -

Russia’s Giant Military Exercise Wasn’t A Cover For War After All (HBO)

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Russia’s biggest war games in years didn’t result in the “big invasion” a top NATO official had warned about, but there’s still suspicion in the West that the Zapad 2017 exercises involved many more troops than Moscow let on.

Zapad, which translates to “West” in Russian, took place in western Russia and Belarus between Sept. 14 and Sept. 20. NATO’s Military Committee Head General Petr Peval had said the exercises looked like “a serious preparation for [a] big war”. Russia said 12,700 military personnel were involved, though some western estimates put that number at 100,000.

NATO observers were allowed to watch the war games, though some complained their access was restricted. VICE News visited Zapad and found the Russian military was touchy about what we could see and where we could go.

The exercises were hit by bad weather and occasional military mis-steps, with an attack helicopter accidentally firing on a group of men, injuring three. Russian president Vladimir Putin watched parts of Zapad, which involved a scenario where a fictitious region of Belarus tried to break away with help from NATO.

Russia has been modernizing is military for the past decade, at a time when trust with its western neighbors is at its lowest point since the Cold War. Sweden is currently holding its biggest military exercises in 20 years, involving 19,000 troops, with support from other NATO countries.

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  1. VICE News visited Zapad and found the Russian military was touchy about what we could see and where we could go.
    WATCH NEXT on Russia –

  2. ведущая – уля-ля))

  3. Russia isn't big. It looks big because it has a 17 million km2 landmass, but only about 6 million km2 is usable due to the rest being covered in permafrost. That makes Russia's effective – that is to say habitable and arable landmass smaller than the USA, and much smaller than Europe. It also has a population of about 150 million people. Once again, much smaller than USA and much much smaller than Europe. The USA and Europe on their own make Russia nervous, NATO makes them very nervous – and with good reason! Yes they are going to posture, what do you expect when their giant rich neighbours harass their borders?

  4. nato has never been the agresor… man…. how about bombing yugoslavia in 1999.

  5. Russian fanatic: "Russia needs no extra territory"

    Crimea: "Am I a joke to you?"

  6. There is such a difference between Soviet and Russian Federation Generals. The Russian ones look like cowed careerists. The soviet ones looked and sounded boss level.

  7. I gotta become friends avec putin and spend all dat money he steals from rich people in russia

  8. So Russia has foreign observers on their excercises, but would we allow that on our excercise? They are mistreated heavily and blamed incorrectly

  9. When russia show its force "oh noes thats illegal, Russia can't do that"…when USA shows their policing everywhere "US so what, we are the world police"….

  10. ,,NATO has never been the aggressor."
    Lybia, Iraq, Yugoslavia: ,,Are we jokes to you?"

  11. Life of russian citizens cost zero in Russia, imagine how much russian government bothers about looking bad killing its neighbors…

  12. Only pro Russians idiots can say "Civil war" in War between Ukraine and Russia!! Go to hell!

  13. Александр Хомяченков says:

    Russia is big very big

  14. If you have a powerful military and you feel like doing exercises without hurting anyone. Why not.

  15. Great words at the end. if you go against us, it will be bad for everyone

  16. Laughed when the Russian senator said:"Russia doesn't need any more territory."
    Putin himself literally used that exact same phrase, just a week before annexing Crimea.
    I guess it's the 21st-century Russian equivalent of Hitler's "I have no more territorial demands in Europe" (spoken after he'd annexed Sudetenland, and a few months before he would go on to annex the rest of Czechia, part of Lithuania, and then Poland, finally triggering WW2).

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