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DEFENDER-Europe 2021: ‘Practicing for the War with Russia’

April 11 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The ongoing DEFENDER-Europe 2021 NATO exercise takes place amid rising pre-war tension between Ukraine and Russia, clearly instigated by the Joe Biden, who was the proconsul of Ukraine only 5-6 years ago, issuing orders directly from the podium of its neo-fascist-dominated Supreme Rada.

The current escalation could be said to have been triggered by a Feb. 26 White House statement attributed to President Joe Biden on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the reunification of Crimea to Russia. The statement provocatively declared: “On this somber anniversary, we reaffirm a simple truth: Crimea is Ukraine.”

On April 2, President Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone and “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.” Zelensky then began stridently demanding quick membership in NATO, in telephone calls to European officials for the purpose.

The DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise was kicked off on March 15 and it will be the largest exercise of its kind in Europe since the days of the annual Reforger exercises during the Cold War. Its 2020 predecessor was scaled back considerably because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s iteration of the exercise will involve more than 28,000 troops from 26 nations which will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in a dozen countries between May and June. According to the U.S. Army Europe and Africa press release, equipment and personnel were to begin moving from the United States in March, and in April participating units were to begin drawing Army Prepositioned Stock from sites in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. The bulk of training activities will occur in May and the exercise will conclude in June with the redeployment of U.S.-based forces and equipment.

The explosive hot-war potential of this can be seen in the April 4th words of the representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas, Alexey Arestovich. He said: “A large-scale NATO exercise called DEFENDER-Europe 2021 has begun, which means ‘protect Europe.’ The scenario is that from the Baltic sea to the Black Sea, we are practicing for—well, let’s put it directly—the war with Russia, the scenario of armed confrontation with Russia.”

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