NATO Exercise Near Russian Border Sparks Controversy in Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.14 - 2024 12:19 PM CET

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Photo: Ifeng
Photo: Ifeng
NATO's recent paratrooper exercise near the Russian border has led to strong reactions from Moscow, labeling it a deliberate provocation.

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The "Steadfast Defender 2024" exercise is currently ongoing across several European countries.

It is composed of a series of individual drills that began in late January and will continue until the end of May.

Approximately 90,000 military personnel are participating, with activities extending to NATO's eastern flank, near the Russian border.

Russian Response

The proximity of these exercises to the Russian border has drawn criticism from Moscow.

According to Chinese publication Ifeng, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the choice of location for the NATO drills, accusing the alliance of deliberate provocation.

She argued that NATO's actions are aimed at escalating tensions and explicitly practicing maneuvers to counter what they describe as the "Russian threat."

Zakharova's statements reflect Russia's longstanding concerns about NATO's military activities near its borders, viewing them as a direct challenge to its security.

The "Steadfast Defender 2024" drills are part of NATO's ongoing efforts to enhance collective defense capabilities and readiness in response to perceived threats. These exercises involve a wide range of military operations, from paratrooper jumps to large-scale maneuvers, demonstrating NATO's commitment to defending its member states.

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