The military drills
, called “Allied Resolve-2022,” began in Belarus and will end February 20, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Thursday in a statement.
“The purpose of the exercise is to work out the tasks of suppressing and repelling external aggression while conducting a defensive operation, countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State,” the statement said.
Moscow’s deployment into Belarus is believed to be its biggest there since the Cold War
, with “an expected 30,000 combat troops, Spetsnaz special operation forces, fighter jets including SU-35, Iskander dual-capable missiles and S-400 air defense systems,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last Thursday.
The United States has also expressed concerns about the buildup of Russian troops in Belarus, a close ally of Russia.
Russia has repeatedly denied it is planning to attack Ukraine,…