Russia ‘secretly practised full-scale invasion of Europe with bombing raids on Germany during Vladim
RUSSIA has practised a full-scale mock invasion of the West that includes capturing Baltic states, bombing Germany and invading neutral countries, it has been revealed.
The terrifying war drills were carried out in September and featured troops, artillery, tanks, missile attacks and naval and air force raids.
Details of the Vladimir Putin's so-called "Zapad" (West) exercises were revealed by analysts from two leading intelligence agencies, Bild reported. They did not specify the methods used to collect the intel.
At the time, Putin claimed the exercises were for anti-terror purposes and were purely defensive in nature.
However, the paper reported that the drills were a dry-run for a "shock campaign" against Western European NATO countries.
This included first overrunning the Sulwalki Gap - a 60 mile stretch of NATO land that connects the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad with its ally Belarus.
It practised this by creating a mock state on an identical piece of land in Belarus then invading it.
At the same time, the analysts said, the Kremlin also rehearsed "neutralising or taking under control air fields and harbours (in eastern Europe), so there are no reinforcements arriving from other NATO states there".
They added: "This does not mean that you have to occupy the countries and declare 'Peoples' Republics' or something like that, but that you have to occupy the harbours, airports and so on."
Over two days, Russian fighter jets also flew mock sorties through the Baltic and North Seas, swooping down onto the edges of Germany and the Netherlands.
These were designed to be a practice run for destroying high-value targets such as power reactors, airports and other forces, including naval battalions, practised invading neutral Finland, as well as Sweden, Norway and Poland.
The Zapad war games, held by Russian and Belarussian troops on territory in both countries in September, are a new source of concern for neighbouring Ukraine and NATO member states on Europe's eastern flank.
Russia has said the exercise was to rehearse a purely defensive scenario, that the scale of the wargames was in line with international rules, and that allegations it was a springboard to invade Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine were false.
General Petr Pavel, head of NATO’s military committee, warned in September: "All together, what we see is a serious preparation for big war.
"When we only look at the exercise that is presented by Russia there should be no worry.
"But when we look it in the big picture, we have to be worried, because Russia was not transparent."
( Source )