NATO General: Russia Prepping for ‘Big War’

Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said Russia’s Zapad 2017 war games are preparation for a “big war,” and the massive concentration of troops could lead to a “human mistake” that leads to a real conflict.

 

Such comments, including Pavel’s warning that the Russian war games could lead to “unintended consequences of potential incidents” are not uncommon during large-scale military exercises by either side. But the general’s true concern is over troop numbers—Russia says it’s deployed 13,000 and NATO says it’s closer to 10 times that number.

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Russia May Send 100K Troops to NATO’s Borders

In this Aug. 2, 2017, photo, Russian paratroopers mark Paratroopers Day in Moscow’s Red Square. The Russian military says major war games, the Zapad (West) 2017 maneuvers, will not threaten anyone. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

 

The exercises are part of President Vladimir Putin’s effort to demonstrate Russia’s full recovery from being a military basket case following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia’s Northern Fleet claimed to have sent about 50 ships, submarines and support vessels into the Barents and Baltic Seas in August on a series of anti-submarine, anti-mine and search-and-rescue operations, a Russian Navy spokesman told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

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