Disinfo: Washington is testing options for invading the Kaliningrad region

Summary

About 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries will take part in the military exercise “Defender Europe 2020”. 20,000 of them are American military personnel. The main goal is to practice the rapid deployment of American forces to the Russian border. Experts believe that Washington is testing options for invading the territory of the Kaliningrad region.

Disproof

This article 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," states 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 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." Read similar cases about the Kaliningrad region being threatened by NATO and US.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, Military, Kaliningrad, Military exercise, Encircling Russia, NATO
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