Contrary to the fears that were spread by Western media and politicians, the West-2017 exercises did not turn into an invasion of another state and did not lead to a third world war, writes The Independent. Moreover, Moscow has a chance to point out to its opponents that it is they who disseminate disinformation and think of the stereotypes of the Cold War.
"What happened to the imminent beginning of the third world war? At the beginning of this month, widespread warnings about "large-scale" Russian military exercises sowed alarm throughout the Western world. Perhaps, it was reported to us, these will be the largest maneuvers of the country since the end of the Cold War, "- writes the columnist of the British The Independent, Marie Dezhevski.
According to the journalist, the media and the military described the West-2017 as an almost unprecedented threat. But the most noteworthy were the two statements. First, Moscow's assurances that the exercises will take the order of 12 thousand people were dismissed as a "trick." In fact, insisted the opponents of the Kremlin, the soldier will be at least 100 thousand.
Secondly, it was suggested that maneuvers are designed to serve as a cover for the seizure of territory in Ukraine or even in the Baltics. The aggravation of relations between the East and West, as well as the proximity - geographical and calendar - to the anniversary of the Second World War, which began with Germany's attack on Poland, seemed to only give these warnings extra weight.
What happened? The exercises were completed this week and by this time "seriously exhausted", at least, judging by the articles of the Western media. The only thing that got in the news were pictures of Vladimir Putin, who was watching what is happening in the binoculars, and a message about the wounding of three people as a result of the incident with the helicopter. The number of participants, even according to Western experts, did not exceed 17 thousand people. No country has been invaded, says the author of the article, whose presentation is the result of InoTV.
"And now the Russians enjoy a rare last laugh. They point - and not without reason - that their numbers were correct. There were no tricks, and international borders were not violated. In addition, all Russian troops who arrived in Belarus for training, return home, "- emphasizes Dezhevsky.
She continues: "After the accusations of the West that Russia is waging an information war with the help of" fake news, "the Russians ask:" And who then spreads disinformation? Is this not yet another proof that the legislators of public opinion in the West live in the stereotypes of the Cold War? And they are right. "
At the present time, according to the journalist, a theory has appeared that the exercises have become a Russian trap in which Western analysts and the media have permeated. But it is much more likely that Russia simply "enjoys the new feeling by finding itself on the right side in the information war."
Meanwhile, Dezhevski argues, there remains another important question without an answer. How did it happen that the scale and goals of Russian maneuvers were inflated in the West so much that they saw an omen of a new world war? As usual, the blame is shifted to "irresponsible" media. However, it was not the media that was the source of this information or, more accurately, "misinformation". Often they only broadcast the opinion of people who should be well versed in the matter, draws the attention of Dezhevski.
One of these people was none other than NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He argued that Russia "uses large military exercises as a cover for aggressive military action against its neighbors," citing events in Georgia and the Crimea. A similar point of view was expressed by the Minister of Defense of Great Britain, Michael Fallon. He assured that "West-2017" have the purpose to "provoke" the North Atlantic alliance.
Many reports also referred to political or research centers in the Baltic, Poland or Ukraine, where the prevailing view is that Russia is a "former and potential aggressor". This point of view is understandable, but this does not mean that it is true under any circumstances, the author of the article believes.
British officials believe that in the case of Moscow, it is necessary to be vigilant. "But the vigilance - and the readiness for unforeseen circumstances - is very different, at least in my understanding, from inflating around the routine Russian military exercises a threat that simply was not backed up by evidence and served as a sharply anti-Russian course of the West," concludes Marie Dezhevsky.