NATO exercises are part of “anaconda ring” strategy to encircle Russia

Summary

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.”

Disproof

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''.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, West, The West
  • Keywords: Military, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Military exercise, NATO
  • Outlet: TV Zvezda
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In both world wars Britain’s goal was to eliminate historical Russia

Pre-revolutionary Russia prevented Britain from establishing its global dominance. Following the 1917 February Revolution and the end of Russian empire, Neville Chamberlain stated that one of the main goals of the WWI was achieved. Hence, while being nominally a Russian ally, Britain played a double game with the aim to eliminate Russian empire as a competitor to British global rule.

WWII was the continuation of this British policy, aimed this time at elimination of Soviet regime. Britain hated it because the USSR provoked national movements in British colonies. The goal of British empire and Anglo-Saxons was very clear, i.e. to eliminate the USSR through the Anti-Comintern Pact. British authorities including prime minister Chamberlain hated the USSR, to be clearer historical Russia, as much as Hitler did.

Disproof

This is ungrounded generalisation and historical revisionism, in order to portray Britain as aggressive power in both world wars and Russian empire / USSR as a victim in both global conflicts. The accusations that the UK had “expansionist plans” in Europe and attempted to provoke a war between Germany and the USSR is historical manipulation.

The Anti-Comintern Pact mentioned in the article was established by Axis Powers Japan and Germany. Britain was never a part of the Anti-Comintern Pact.

Around 2,000 people were killed in NATO’s bombings in [former] Yugoslavia

The United States should apologise for the bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999 and pay compensation to the victims of NATO’s armies. […] Serbians will never forget those events, that claimed the lives of around 2,000 people.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing and war in former Yugoslavia.

In Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and Montenegro, 275 persons lost their lives in the NATO bombings: 180 civilians, 90 members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and five members of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia.

A true flourishing of Estonian culture, science and industry took place under the Soviet rule – it does not look like an occupation

A true flourishing of Estonian culture, science, education, and industry took place under the Soviet rule. How can Estonians speak about “greatness” of their country before WWII, if it did not even have its national choir? The first thing which was realized by this “Asian satanic horde” was to establish the first Estonian people’s choir in history – it does not look like occupation.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that there was no Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not cause the division of East and Central Europe between the USSR and Nazi Germany, leading to WWII.

See similar cases on the Baltic states and the Soviet occupation here and here.