Canadian troops in Latvia prepare for Russia’s Zapad exercise

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 1, 2017
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Canadian troops in Latvia will have front-row seats to a massive Russian military exercise this month that has set NATO on edge and sparked calls for calm across eastern Europe.

Scheduled to start Sept. 14 and run for a week, the so-called Zapad exercise is being billed as Russia’s largest war game since the end of the Cold War more than 25 years ago.

It’s also the first of its kind since NATO decided to send four brigades to eastern Europe to prevent further Russian aggression, after Moscow annexed Crimea and began to support separatist forces in Ukraine.

Canada is leading one of those multinational brigades, with 450 troops based in Latvia alongside counterparts from fellow NATO members Albania, Spain, Italy, Poland, and Slovenia.

In addition to sending troops to Latvia to deter Russia, Canada has also recently deployed four CF-18s to patrol the airspace over Romania for the next month and has kept a frigate in the region for years.

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