Disinfo: The US Defender 2020 military manoeuvre is explicitly directed against Russia


The US Defender 2020 military manoeuvre, with Germany as the logistical hub, is explicitly directed against Russia.

The exercise is a mistake, the West is in a phase where it has to approach Russia because it needs Russia to solve the global problems in the Middle East and in North Africa. These problems are much more acute than the problems in Ukraine. But unfortunately, a large part of the German leadership elite today is of the opinion that everything possible must be done to show solidarity with the Poles and the Balts.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia. US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis.

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 Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, like Germany and Poland. With US Defender Europe 2020, the 18 participating NATO-countries are therefore practising procedures to ensure and demonstrate the ability to relocate and also to confirm the alliance's commitment to supporting and, in particular, to show the United States' commitment to Europe's security.

There are 37,000 participants - of which up to 20,000 from the USA are to be relocated to Europe - and takes place from January to May 2020. U.S. service members will then spread out across the region to establish intermediate staging bases with multinational forces and participate in various annual exercises.

For more information about the exercise: US Army Europe Website and Factsheet about Defender 2020 and updates from the Bundeswehr (German Army).


  • Reported in: Issue182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland
  • Keywords: Encircling Russia, NATO


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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