Thursday, September 14, 2017

Well That's Quite the Coincidence

Russia has begun military exercises in Belarus, the long-expected Zapad-2017:

The scenario for the Zapad-2017 exercise is an armed uprising in Belarus by "saboteurs" and "terrorists" backed by a fictitious country called Veishnoria. Russian forces are deployed to Belarus to help crush the rebellion.

The main purpose is to integrate the two countries' military headquarters in a realistic combat scenario. Belarus is mobilising about 7,200 troops and Russia about 5,500, Russia's defence ministry says.

The Russian territory of Kaliningrad - sandwiched between Nato members Poland and Lithuania - is included in the exercise.

Saboteurs and terrorists?

Say, look what is happening back in Russia Prime:

A series of anonymous bomb threats phoned in to authorities across Russia has continued, with new threats in Moscow and St. Petersburg. ...

Since September 10, similar calls have triggered mass evacuations at schools, malls, theaters, and universities in many cities and towns across Russia.

Bombs have not been discovered in any of the cases.

No bombs. Just threats by saboteurs and terrorists at the same time Russia is exercising their troops in Belarus in case of exactly that kind of threat.

Which is a convenient coincidence if Russia wants to convert the exercise to a real world mission to complete the Russian Anschluss with Belarus.

I've mentioned before that Belarus is possibly the most important piece of territory in Europe today.

Putin probably isn't planning to take over and annex Belarus this month. But he might. And it is surely always nice to have the option.

UPDATE: The Russians need to work on their "reassuring" skills:

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia's general staff, told Curtis Scaparrotti, a U.S general who is NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, that Moscow's latest military exercise was purely defensive, the RIA news agency reported.

Sadly, the Russians consider conquering neighboring countries a "defensive" move.