- Ukraine Announces Joint Military Exercises With NATO Amid Rising Tensions With Russia
by Jason Melanovski, https://www.wsws.org/en
The Operational Command East with the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) provocatively announced Saturday that it will hold joint military exercises known as “Exercise Cossack Mace” with NATO forces later this year. The statement comes as violence continues to escalate between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region of the country.
While joint Ukrainian-NATO drills are often announced with clarifying statements that they are purely “defensive” operations, the AFU’s statement differed in that it made clear that it would simulate an offensive attack against not only separatist-controlled Donbass but Russian forces as well.
“In particular, defensive actions will be worked out, followed by an offensive in order to restore the state border and territorial integrity of a state that has been subjected to aggression by one of the hostile neighboring countries,” the statement said, clearly referring to Russia.