‘The complete estimations will take a few weeks but we already have a signs that the scale and geographical coverage of ‘West-2017’ far outnumber the initial announcement’, she said.
According to Foreign Ministry of Russia, only 12 700 militaries should take place in the drills. This index is a little bit lower than the margin that allows the foreign observers to attend the drills according to the international agreements. The spokesperson noted that NATO considers this fact as the evidence of false statements of Russia.
According to her, these drills took place not only in the territory of Belarus, Kaliningrad, Leningrad Region and water area of the Baltic Sea as it was announced. At the same time the drills took place in Arctic Region, Far East, the Black Sea not far from border with Ukraine and in Abkhazia. Moreover, the representatives of the Russian authorities officially connected some of them with ‘West-2017’.
The drills sparked the concern, especially in the Baltic countries. There were the concerns that the drills will be connected with the invasion to the neighboring countries.
The Russian-Belarusian Russian-Belarusian West-2017 military drills started on September 14. The Defense Ministry of Belarus claimed that the joint maneuvers with Russia carry only the defensive nature. At one of the stages of Russia-Belarus military exercises West-2017 an emergency situation occurred: at Luzhsky training ground near St. Petersburg there was an involuntary launch of air-to-surface missiles from a Ka-52 helicopter. However, Russia denied this information.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov said that at the last stage of the Russian-Belarussian exercises "West-2017", Russia has worked out conventional massive nuclear missile strike.