Russia Steps Up the Pressure on Eastern Europe

In September, the Russian military carried out war games. What did they simulate? A nuclear attack on Poland:

The armed forces are said to have carried out “war games” in which nuclear missiles were fired and troops practised an amphibious landing on the country’s coast.
Documents obtained by Wprost, one of Poland’s leading news magazines, said the exercise was carried out in conjunction with soldiers from Belarus. …
The Russian air force practised using weapons from its nuclear arsenal, while in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which neighbours Poland, Red Army forces stormed a “Polish” beach and attacked a gas pipeline.

These war games took place at almost the precise moment when the Obama administration double-crossed Poland by announcing that, in order to placate Vladimir Putin, it was canceling the Bush administration’s plan to put anti-missile defense installations in Poland and other eastern European countries. That announcement, in turn, came just one month after Russia threatened Poland with a nuclear attack in August.
Two questions: 1) Is there some explanation for all of this other than the hypothesis that the Russians are moving rapidly to take advantage of what they know is a weak administration in Washington? 2) If you were Poland’s government, under pressure from Russia and apparently abandoned by the United States, what would you do?

Responses

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