DISINFO: NATO exercises are part of "anaconda ring" strategy to encircle Russia
  • Outlet: tvzvezda.ru (archived)*
  • Date of publication: September 12, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia
West Military Military exercise Encircling Russia EU/NATO enlargement NATO

DISINFO: NATO exercises are part of "anaconda ring" strategy to encircle Russia


There has been a sharp increase in the number and intensity of NATO exercises around Russia’s borders. These exercises are not separate from one another, but together comprise an encirclement strategy known as the “anaconda ring.”


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Western attempts to encircle Russia. NATO is not a threat to Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance. Its purpose is to protect the member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – nor any other country. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia. NATO does not seek confrontation, but it cannot ignore Russia breaking international rules, undermining stability and security. See more for NATO's response to the crisis in Ukraine and security concerns in Central and Eastern Europe here. "Anaconda ring" is not an accepted concept in military strategy. It originates with Nazi-era academic Karl Haushofer who hailed the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a "heavy blow against the 'anaconda policy of the western Jewish plutocracy'" (p. 12). The term likely entered Russian analytical jargon via commentator Aleksandr Dugin, whose writings are heavily influenced by Haushofer's ideas. Dugin's most influential work makes numerous references to the "anaconda ring," which he calls "the traditional Atlanticist [i.e. Western] plan for 'strangling' the continental portions of the [Russian] mainland" (p. 137), which is aimed at "restraining its geopolitical expansion" (p. 444). See here for other examples of cases about the ''anaconda ring''.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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