There is ongoing debate on whether or not Russia is seeking war from NATO. On the one side, Moscow has launched large-scale war games near Crimea; on the other, it has expressed interest in bringing back to life military programs with NATO. Could Russia be playing with fire?
Russia Launches War Games
Russia just launched its massive war games involving Crimea called the Caucasus 2016. The war games started following heightened tension between Russia and Ukraine after the former accused Kiev of sending spies to carry out a series of bombings to dismantle Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed last Monday that its long-planned major military exercise involving annexed Crimea, along with Russia’s Black Sea and Caspian fleets, have started. The program will involve 12, 500 troops.
According to Haaretz, Russia has done a number of nationwide spot combat readiness checks prior to the commencement of the exercise programs. Moreover, it has started practicing and transferring military hardware and troops to Crimea in line with its logistics exercises in the previous month.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Caucasus 2016 will run up to September 10. Likewise, it clarified that it will be the last major military training exercise for this year.
Tries to Trick NATO Into New Programs?
Even with NATO threatened with Russia’s recent activities near Crimea, Russia also expressed interest in reviewing the previously active NATO-Russia joint military programs and their possible resumption.
“The Russian side is interested in organizing a non-politicized review of previously existing military programs in the format of Russia-NATO Council for the purpose of resumption of their implementation, as well as the exchange of information and assessment of the current terrorist threat in Europe, in particular, to counter Daesh,” Sputnik quoted Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov.