Russia starts joint military exercise with Belarus Today!

Russia on Thursday launched large-scale joint military exercises with its ally Belarus that were expected to escalate tensions with NATO. Russia said parts of its First Tank Army had been “put on alert” and moved into Belarus for the war games. Airborne units in Russia also were preparing to join the drills. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that the exercises, called Zapad-2017 (Russian for “West”), could mark a step toward an invasion of Ukraine. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact used the Zapad drills to prepare for a possible war with the West. Russia said the exercise is “of an entirely defensive nature and is not aimed at any other states.”


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