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Six-day NATO military exercise ‘Steel Brawler’ will begin in Latvia today


Six-day NATO military exercise ‘Steel Brawler’ will begin in Latvia today

Только устрашение остановит Россию -

Photo: Sputnik News

After the successful conclusion of last month’s Iron Spear armoured warfare exercises, NATO begins the Canadian-led Steel Brawler multinational training exercises in Latvia today.

Steel Brawler and Iron Spear are part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence’s “Defender Europe 2020” exercises taking part throughout this spring. These exercises are designed to improve cooperation between alliance nations tasked with defending Europe’s eastern border.

On March 16, the US Army ceased all military personnel and equipment transfer to Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s exercises are expected to continue with only 600 of the 1,400 locally deployed troops involved.

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Created in response to Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, today’s NATO exercises and the rest of the Defender Europe 2020 series are expected to continue in a reduced capacity, so as to project solidarity and demonstrate the alliance’s commitment to defending against Russian aggression. The Russian military is expected to watch these exercises closely in order to assess NATO’s capabilities in a weakened environment, but it likely will not risk local backlash by exploiting the situation to publicly criticise NATO—at least, not until the crisis concludes.

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