By Paul Goble
Moscow’s announcement that it will soon conduct its largest military exercise since 1981 “means only one thing,” Pavel Felgengauer says. “The Kremlin is actively preparing for a world war” (apostrophe.ua/article/world/ex-ussr/2018-08-28/rossiya-nachala-podgotovku-k-mirovoy-voyne-ukraina-v-chisle-glavnyih-vragov/20264).
In fact, the independent Russian military commentator says, Russia has been preparing for such a war for “at least the last five years.” In announcing the exercise, he points out, the Russian General Staff said that it was a response to the growing threat of war, “either a global nuclear one or a series of major regional wars like an all-European one.”
The Russian military is planning for attacks “from all sides” and is “building a defense perimeter in all directions,” Felgengauer says. “But the main enemy, of course, is America and also its allies and satellites like Ukraine.” The size of the exercise – it is to involve 300,000 personnel – makes it clear that “this is preparation for a global war,” not any local conflict.
Moscow has been organizing larger and larger military exercises with each passing year, the military analyst says because “the main thing in these large strategic exercises is the working out of mobilization and logistics” so that Moscow can dispatch them “in any direction” the political leadership decides is necessary.
Of course, Moscow will stress that all this is a defensive measure. After all, “Russia has always acted ‘only defensively’ for 500 years [and] as a result of these ‘just and defensive’ wars, the territory of Russia has increased 50 times compared to that of the small Muscovite principality.”
“The best defense for the Kremlin is the attack,” Felgengauer concludes. “And Russia as always is planning a war with the entire globe, although of course, the Kremlin does have allies, for example, Kyrgyzstan …”