US deploys armored division to Poland near Russian border
Washington took advantage of the hysteria in Europe over the joint Russian-Belarusian Zapad-2017 drills to deploy its armored division to Poland near the Russian border, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
"Amid the hysteria over Russia’s planned military incursion right from the Zapad-2017 drills, the 2nd armored division of the US arrived quietly in Poland and was deployed there also with its armored vehicles," Konashenkov said.
"At the same time, the military equipment of the 3rd US armored brigade still remains in Poland and the Baltic republics," he noted.
De facto, Washington has deployed a mechanized infantry division near Russia’s borders "where the trained personnel of the nearest US base in Europe may be deployed in two hours," Konashenkov said.
The general stressed that the entire hysteria in the Baltic region and Poland over the "Russian threat" posed by the Zapad-2017 maneuvers is a fraudulent media campaign for the Pentagon’s operation. "Who is the one preparing the aggression?" the general said.
The spokesman noted that during the Russian-Belarusian maneuvers, Poland and the Baltic states were expected to hold a "rotation" of the 3rd armored brigade deployed under the Atlantic Resolve operation. "All the equipment of this brigade (87 M1A1 Abrams tanks, M109 Paladin howitzers, 144 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and some 100 vehicles) should have remained. And the personnel of the 3rd armored brigade should have been replaced by troops of the 2nd armored brigade of the US Armed Forces in order not to violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act," TASS cited Konashenkov as saying.
He noted that the Russian-Belarusian drills were accompanied by the "unprecedented media hysteria in Europe about their non-transparency, hybrid operations of Russia’s Armed Forces, ‘hordes’ of Russian troops, who already received an order for "incursion," and also that Russia left its strike group in Belarus." The toughest accusations came from the newest members of NATO and the European Union, he said.
Konashenkov stressed that dozens of military attaches, monitors and journalists saw with their own eyes that the Zapad-2017 drills ended as scheduled and the units of Russia’s armed forces returned from Belarus to their permanent bases.