Such large-scale military drills have become more common as tensions between Russia and NATO have increased after the country’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its purported involvement in the conflict in Ukraine between pro-Russia separatists and the Ukrainian government that has killed at least 6,400 people.
Russia recently finished exercises with China that were reportedly the largest show of military cooperation between the two countries ever. NATO, meanwhile, has a major drill called Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 planned for the end of September that is scheduled to feature some 36,000 troops.
Experts have warned that such large-scale drills could have negative effects on the relationship between Russia and NATO. An August report from the European Leadership Network said the large drills could suggest the two sides are preparing for war. The report also stated that ramped-up training could make conflict more likely.
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