The drill, named Cold Response, has kicked off today in Norway amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West over the invasion of Ukraine.
The exercise includes 30,000 troops from more than 25 countries from Europe and North America, 200 aircraft, and 50 vessels.
The largest Nato exercise which is held just a few miles from the Russian border was planned long before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but its significance has now been heightened.
“This exercise is extremely important for the security of Norway and its allies. We will practice an allied reinforcement of Norway”, Norwegian Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen.
“It is not being held because of the Russian authorities’ attack on Ukraine, but given the backdrop there is a heightened significance.”
The aim of the drill is to test how Norway and Alliance members would work together on land, in the air, and at sea in line with Article 5 of NATO’s charter, which requires member states to come to the aid of another member state under attack.
“I find it totally normal, perhaps now more than ever, to train together to demonstrate our capacity and our willingness to defend our values and our way of life”, stated General Yngve Odlo, head of Norway’s Joint Headquarters and in charge of Cold Response.
The Norwegian armed forces said it provided thorough information to the Russians, including the Russian Ministry of Defense, saying that was vital for preventing misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.
Russia has declined to observe the exercise, which is held every two years and is due to end on April 1.
And even though it was planned months ago, it is bound to infuriate the Russian dictator who may have “roid rage” potentially caused by cancer treatment.
Western spies have speculated Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine may have been sparked by his physical health condition as he appears “ashen and bloated” in recent pictures released by the Kremlin.
They believe he is suffering from a brain condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or a more generic form of dementia – or has cancer.
Another theory is that he is suffering from “roid rage” from the long-term use of steroids.
Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection – which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid.
It comes as…
- A woman and her unborn baby died after a Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in Ukraine.
- A Russian spy captain was killed during a “top-secret” operation in Ukraine
- Britain is ready to join a war against Russia if crazed Vladimir Putin attacks a NATO country, Sajid Javid vowed today.
- US journalist shot dead and colleague wounded while covering war in Ukraine
- Russia has released chilling new footage of its 7,000mph Zircon hypersonic nuke missile that could hit London in five minutes.
- Workers workers at Chernobyl are too tired to make safety repairs at the Russian-occupied nuclear site.
- Defiant President Volodymyr Zelensky visited wounded troops in hospital and handed out medals
- Brits joined Ukrainian troops in World War One-style trenches with one wielding a Soviet-made World War Two machine gun.
Meanwhile, Sajid Javid has vowed Britain will go to war against Russia if Putin attacks a Nato country after Putin’s forces launched missile strikes just 12 miles from the Polish border with Ukraine last night.
The airstrike at the Yavoriv military base near Lviv, killed at least 35 people and injured another 134.
Warsaw is part of the 30-strong defensive military alliance which also includes the UK, US, France, and Germany.
Mr Javid said: “We’ve been very clear from the start, with our NATO allies, that if there is any kind of attack on NATO territory then it will be war with NATO and there will be a severe response.
“Even if just a single toecap of a Russian soldier steps into NATO territory, then it will be war with Russia and NATO would respond.
“That hasn’t changed throughout this conflict and there would be a significant response from NATO if there was any kind of attack from Russia.
“Our message has been very clear from the start. Any kind of attack, anything that touches NATO territory or impacts NATO in any significant way, then we would respond.”
His comment comes as Nato allies including Britain and the US have massively bolstered deployments to Eastern Europe in recent months.
However Russia has lost more than 12,000 troops during almost three weeks of fighting as well as hundreds of tanks and aircraft, according to Ukrainian estimates.
There have been widespread reports that morale is incredibly low, with kit repeatedly breaking down and shortages of food and fuel.
Putin has even resorted to calling in mercenaries from as far afield as Syria to bolster his struggling forces.
Moscow is becoming so desperate it has even asked China for help.