Just as the exercises, Kevadtorm (Spring Storm) or Siil (Hedgehog) have become a tradition in the spring, so the boisterous reactions of the Kremlin media to them have become a tradition. The year 2021 was no exception, when the exercise in Estonia was again attacked in the Russian media.
This year, the talking points about the threat of NATO at the Russian border, the offensively attacking NATO exercise, and the provocation against Russia were repeated a week ago in connection with the military exercise Spring Storm. For the first time, it was heard that deadly bacteria could be transferred to Russia from here.
Vesti writes, for example, about the strengthening of NATO on the Russian border. The title of the story about the beginning of Spring Storm uses a quote “It is a provocation”, which is included in the text of the news as an excerpt from Ivan Konovalov’s commentary on the military exercise Swift Response that took place a week ago.
Gazeta.ru has titled the story about the beginning of Spring Storm as „Russia is still a big problem “, the NATO army started maneuvers in Estonia”. This story also introduces previous exercises and comments about them from Konovalov and Shoigu, which we read for example, about the exercise Swift Response.
RuBaltic writes about the Spring Storm under the title, “A major exercise began in Estonia with NATO participation “.
Belarusian TV channel TV1 has focused the story of the beginning of Spring Storm on the size of the exercise, pointing out that it is the biggest Spring Storm exercise in history. The story tells how NATO is actively instructing former Soviet states, such as the Baltic nations, Ukraine and Georgia, participating in dozens of exercises each year. The story also states that what is happening in Estonia is a small part of NATO’s general, growing military activity against Russia and the Belarusian alliance, especially against Belarus.
Izvetija published a story about the exercise “Near the Russian Border”, focusing on Ivan Konovalov’s comments. Konovalov considers the exercise of NATO forces near the Russian border to be a violation of basics of the 1997 signed Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security. According to Konovalov, the Spring Storm is an offensive rather than a defensive exercise, justifying his position by the participation of French tanks and British offensive helicopters in the exercise.
On the Info24.ru portal, the news about the beginning of the Spring Storm exercise has been supplemented by a section in which the First Deputy Secretary General of the Russian Security Council, Juri Averyanov, expresses concern about NATO facilities near the Russian border, as deadly bacteria and other pathogens of infectious diseases may enter Russia.
The Soviet-made Su-22 attack aircraft participating in the Spring Storm has also received lively attention. Russian media points out that this is a Su-17 from the 1960s that has been further developed and modernized.
In 2017, Kevadtorm attracted the attention of Russia due to a complaint from a farmer. The exercise Siil held in the spring of 2018 was a target in both social and ordinary media, in 2019 the Spring Storm was caught in the jaws of the Russian media due to an incident in Sillamäe.
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