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There were also anti-aircraft, anti-ship and even anti-combat diver drills in the area.Some of the thousands of troops deployed during the exercise were sent to the Kola peninsula, which borders Norway and Finland.
Soldiers are pictured on parade during the drills Another exercise reportedly saw two waves of Tu-95 and Tu-22m3 bombers as well as 50 war ships practising raids on Norway's Svalbard archipelago between Russia and the Arctic Ocean.They were not given access to all of the units that took part, they said.Speaking as the drills were taking place, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Warsaw opposed any lifting of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and role in its separatist conflict.'We are very concerned by what is happening in Belarus, from the exercises there,' Szydlo said during a visit to Bulgaria.The once-in-four-year war games also involved anti-submarine warfare and air defence drills throughout the Baltic Sea, it is claimed.This was to practise weakening NATO in the event of an invasion of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.Analysts say the drills were a dry-run for a 'shock campaign' against Western European NATO members The analysts also said that the country's air force flew through the North Sea and past Germany and the Netherlands for two days to rehearse taking out the likes of airports, power reactors and naval bases.'They exercised bombings of Western European targets, approaching the German and Dutch coast from the North Sea as well as Swedish, Finish and Polish mainland from the Baltic Sea,' the sources said.
'The drill included waves of Tu-95 strategic bombers as well as support aircraft like fighter jets and refuelling planes.'Targets in a real-life situation would include 'critical infrastructure, that is, air fields, harbours, energy supplies and so on, in order to shock the countries and make the populations demand from their governments that "we shouldn’t be involved here, we should go for peace instead"'.The analysts also said that the country's air force flew through the North Sea and past Germany and the Netherlands for two days to rehearse taking out the likes of airports, power reactors and naval bases At the time, the Kremlin said it had provided exhaustive information on the exercises before they were held to the military attaches of all interested countries and allowed their observers to attend the event to allay any concerns Training manoeuvres over the North Sea may have been designed to show Russia has plans for 'show of force attacks' deep in Western air space, the sources said.They also suggested missile defence systems were better prepared in Eastern European NATO states compared to the likes of Britain, Germany and Denmark.The unnamed experts said the drills imagined the invasion of the Sulwalki Gap, a small area of NATO land that links Belarus with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.A mock state on a similar stretch of land was created during Zapad and named 'Veyshnoria' before it was 'invaded' as part of the war games.The drills also rehearsed the capture of the Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania- as well as Poland, Norway and the non-aligned states of Sweden and Finland, the analysts told German newspaper Bild.