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Russia Sending Troops to NATO Borders

Russia Sending Troops to NATO Borders
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 31 July 2017 10:52 PM

Russia is sending up to 100,000 troops in a military exercise believed to be a show of force and intimidation, The New York Times reports.

The buildup along the nation's western borders will begin in mid-August, culminating a month later with military drills called "Zapad," the Russian term for "west."

Military exercises will take place in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and Kaliningrad, according to the Times, and will use the name of the famous Soviet-era unit the First Guards Tank Army. It is the first time since the end of the Soviet Union that so much military power has been under a single command, according to the report.

Though the action is seen as a statement of Russian power, it is not a reaction to the recent announcement of new American sanctions against Russia; the drills had been planned for months.

Rather, the action looks to be part of Russia's recent moves to build up in military presence in the world, including putting troops in Syria, taking over Crimea and moving on Ukraine.

American military officials worry Russia won't remove the troops once the exercises are over, and say they are prepared, though they don't expect a conflict.

"The great concern is they're not going to leave, and that's not paranoia," Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the United States Special Operations Command, said during a national security conference in Aspen, Colo., this month.

"First and foremost, the messaging is, 'We're watching you; we're strong; we've learned a lot; don't mess with Russia.'" added retired Army Gen. Peter B. Zwack.

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Russia is sending up to 100,000 troops in a military exercise believed to be a show of force and intimidation, The New York Times reports.
russia, troops, nato, borders
261
2017-52-31
Monday, 31 July 2017 10:52 PM
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