NATO schrikt van omvang van oefening Rusland/Wit-Rusland
NATO is deze week opgeschrikt door de omvang van de gezamenlijke Russisch/Wit-Russische militaire oefeningen. Die omvang is inderdaad indrukwekkend.
Het begon afgelopen vrijdag:
On Friday Russia and its longtime isolated former Soviet satellite ally Belarus kicked off what’s being described as Europe’s largest military drills in decades, involving up to 200,000 troops – including elite paratroopers – nearly 800 tanks, and 15 warships plus 80 aircraft, according to Russian defense ministry (MoD) figures.
Dubbed ‘Zapad-2021′ – the exercises are taking place jointly at nine Russian and five Belarusian ranges and bases, with close to 13,000 Russian troops being hosted on Belarusian soil. By comparison, one of NATO’s recent and largest exercises in Europe, Trident Juncture 2018, involved only 40,000 troops.
Het geheel beperkte zich overigens niet tot Rusland en Wit-Rusland:
The games additionally have the participation of the militaries of Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, the MoD has confirmed.
The drills will test the allied militaries’ “interaction during combat operations and letting commanders and staff practice troop management during joint actions in repelling aggression against the Union State,” the Russian military added, referencing the agreement going back to 1999 in which the two countries committed to deeper political and economic integration.
🇷🇺🇧🇾 All the updates on the #Zapad2021 Russian-Belarusian Joint Strategic Exercise, which is taking place on September 10/16 on the both countries' territories, in our moment below 👇https://t.co/uzm9xDwsae
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) September 10, 2021
Directe aanleiding voor deze omvangrijke troepenbewegingen is dat Rusland en Wit-Rusland zich willen voorbereiden op een Oekraïne-scenario zoals in 2014 en 2015.
According to analysis in War on the Rocks, Russia is preparing to defend against a Ukraine scenario akin to 2014 and 2015, but centering on Belarus:
The Russian General Staff is concerned by what it has nicknamed a Western “Trojan horse” strategy: first using indirect means to destabilize a country, then employing advanced conventional capabilities to paralyze the armed forces, execute massed airstrikes against critical infrastructure, and rapidly achieve war aims. The Russian military goal is to convince a U.S.-led coalition that it cannot achieve a decisive victory early on, and that the war will result in substantial military, or economic costs, along with likely nuclear escalation. Russian thinking is premised on the belief that Russia can raise costs to a level that will outweigh the gains sought, particularly in a fight over Belarus. The 2021 exercise may simulate calibrated employment of conventional and non-strategic nuclear weapons to manage escalation and compel the opposing coalition to negotiate.
Een herhaling van het kleurenrevolutie-scenario van het Maidanplein-type zou voor Rusland een gruwelscenario zijn.
Meer over de ontwikkelingen bij de NATO door de jaren heen vindt u hier.