Ukraine strengthens control on border due to Zapad-2017 military exercise

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine has strengthened security measures at all sections of the border in connection with the Russian-Belarusian war game Zapad-2017.

“Now control at all the sections of the state border is being intensified. The situation is being monitored not only in the north, but also in the ATO area, the western, southern, and eastern sections and on the border with occupied Crimea. Border guards will cover the directions of possible provocative actions and armed incursions into the territory in a close interaction with the Armored Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard and the National Police,” Interfax -Ukraine quotes the State Border Service.

As reported earlier, Ukraine’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff and Commander-in-Chief Viktor Muzhenko said the Russia-Belarus Zapad 2017 exercise poses a threat to NATO countries and the nations of the post-Soviet world.

The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 scheduled for September, 14-20 is supposed to demonstrate ‘persistence in efforts to ensure security of the two brotherly nations’. Such exercises are held in Belarus and Russia interchangeably every two years. In September, there will be about 10,000 troops involved in the exercise in the Belarusian territory (7,200 – the Belarusian Armed Forces and about 3,000 – the Russian Army).

At the same time, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite and a number of European politicians believe that the ‘West-2017’ demonstrates the preparation of Belarus and Russia to the war with the West. In mid April, Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, stressed that the joint military exercise might become the preparation for an assault against Ukraine in September.

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