Russia’s military games for Baltic and Polish civilians and youth
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
With the Russian 9th of May celebrations of Soviet victory in World War Two approaching, many in the Baltic States are concerned about the potential risk of provocations or confrontation stemming from the more radical and disgruntled elements of the local Russian minority. Moreover, since Russia launched a shadow war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, NATO, American, and European governments have been increasingly concerned about the risks of hybrid warfare in Poland and the Baltic region.
It would be hard to imagine Athenian generals worrying about the reporting of Spartan news or even, twenty-four centuries later, Douglas MacArthur caring much about media broadcasts from the land of the rising sun. But when General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Commander of NATO, recently called on the West to make a greater effort to counter Russia’s toxic war of disinformation against Ukraine and its western allies, his concern made perfect military sense. In a world in which the dissemination of information is a key tactical element in violent conflicts, the West and America have remained far too passive in confronting both the insidious campaign of lies on Russian state-controlled media and the notoriously effective internet recruitment efforts of terrorist groups.
Russia’s euphoric and triumphalist celebration all this week, marking the one year anniversary of Moscow's annexation of Crimea, has already drawn crowds of people, national flags in abundance, and veterans marching in various cities. Meanwhile, Russia-backed militants continue their attacks in eastern Ukraine testing the fragile truce between Kiev and the separatist forces. A year later since Moscow’s foray into Crimea, there is little evidence of Russia is willing to back down or back out of its aggressive campaign in Ukraine. What often gets blurred in Moscow’s nationalist rhetoric is that fact that Russia’s economic and military interests in Ukraine run deep, making Russia’s pull out from Ukraine unlikely in the medium to long-term.
NATO fighter jets serving in the Alliance's air-policing mission in the Baltic countries last week were scrambled to identify and escort seven Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said on Monday.
Lithuanian border guards on September 23 detained a Latvian woman for illegally transporting three Indian asylum-seekers from Latvia across Lithuania to the border with Poland, the State Border Guard Service said.
The Supervisory Board of the joint venture of three Baltic countries approved the basic principles of the Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica procurement model which is core to the Contacting Scheme to be agreed by all three countries on 7 September. All procurements will be divided in three groups – procurements organised solely by the joint venture, consolidated procurements carried out by the joint venture and procurements carried out by the national implementers under strict joint venture supervision, Rail Baltic office reported.