In Zapad Exercises, Russia Flexes its Military Strength

Sep 20, 2013 | 10:04 GMT

Russia Flexes its Military Strength
An amphibious assault vehicle during the 2009 Zapad military exercises.


The upcoming joint military drills between Russia and Belarus will be Moscow's latest demonstration to its periphery and to the West that it remains a viable power in the region. The two countries will conduct their Zapad exercises from Sept. 20-26, the first time since such drills have been held since 2009. These exercises are significant from both a military and political perspective, and are occurring at a time when tensions are rising between Russia and Belarus on one side and Poland and the Baltic states on the other. The Zapad drills, combined with NATO's Steadfast Jazz drills to be held in the Baltic states in November, highlight the security and military pressures in the region, which have steadily grown in recent years.

Upcoming military exercises with Belarus are meant to show Russia's periphery that Moscow remains a viable power in the region....

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