Disinfo: NATO used Russia’s military exercise, Zapad 2017 as a pretext for deploying troops in the Baltic states and Poland

Summary

Everyone who wished to attend the exercise, did so, and confirmed that everything was transparent. But, while hysteria was whipped up, the U.S., together with NATO, was able to deploy additional military contingents and military hardware on the sly to the Baltic states and Poland.The excuse was used though the fears were not in the slightest justified, but as the phrase goes, the case is closed.

Disproof

As explained by DFRLab, while there are NATO troops and equipment in Poland and the Baltic states, Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov’s claim that the presence increased in response to Zapad 2017 is misleading. The United States did, in fact, deploy three additional fighter jets and 600 American paratroopers to the Baltic states and Poland for the duration of Zapad. However, the deployment was public, reported by Reuters at the time, and there is no evidence to suggest that the additional forces overstayed their visit.

Similarly, the recent arrival of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) to Poland, which was recently targeted by similar Kremlin disinformation, was a part of a planned rotation of U.S. Army Europe, a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. As @DFRLab reported in October, the deployment of the 2nd Armed Brigade Combat Team was first announced in April 2017, six months before the start of Zapad 2017. There is no evidence to uphold the claim that the deployment was linked to Russia’s military exercise, but the deployment was rather a part of the rotational schedule. Further information at medium.com/dfrlab/balticbrief-russia-claims-secret-nato-deployment-e6c0e649ccfb,

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue92
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/12/2017
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Baltic states, US, Poland
  • Keywords: Military, EU/NATO enlargement, Military exercise, NATO

Disclaimer

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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