Disinfo: The Defender Europe 2020 exercises are intended to exert pressure on the Kaliningrad region

Summary

The Defender Europe 2020 exercises are primarily intended to exert pressure on the Kaliningrad region, but the deployment of reconnaissance and strike drones has now demonstrated that manoeuvres are multidisciplinary in nature and are clearly directed against Russia.

Disproof

This narrative is in line with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of encircling Russia, claiming that US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020" is directed against Russia. Find similar cases here.

Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theatre to various training areas. The aim of the exercises is to increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis. "The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries. Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 Soldiers deploying from the U.S," is noted on the official web site of the exercises.

Eighteen countries are expected to participate, with exercise activities occurring across 10 countries. More details about the exercise can be found here.

At a press conference in Berlin on January 14, 2020, the Deputy Commander of the US Armed Forces in Europe, General Andrew Rawling, announced that the Defender 2020 is not directed against Russia or against another country: "These manoeuvres are not related to any particular country. In this, they differ from past exercises of the Cold War. It is a question of defence in general under various crisis scenarios."

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 185
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Romania, Moldova
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, Military exercise, NATO
  • Outlet: Mejdurecie.md, Zakonvremeni.ru, Mixednews.ru
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Disproof

The statement has no supporting evidence and is another example of conspiracy narratives on a plot against China, profitable to the US; on the UK which invented coronavirus. See more examples of groundless statements about the coronavirus here.

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Disproof

No evidence given. A pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian statehood and the economic reforms in Ukraine.

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Disproof

Part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative showing Ukraine as a failed state. 

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