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English: THE BARENTS SEA. A military exercise ...

A military exercise of the Russian Northern Fleet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kristopher Rikken, ERR News – Estonian Public Broadcasting, Sept. 25, 2013

With Zapad 2013, Russia’s answer to NATO‘s Steadfast Jazz military exercise, continuing in parts east, ERR News profiles a piece that originally ran on February 13.

One year ago, Russia unveiled a new doctrine: then presidential candidate Vladimir Putin openly avowed an intention to radically expand and upgrade the Russian military. As of February 2013, the country continues to pursue the biggest military buildup in years in its western military district, which is flush up against Baltic borders and already easily the country’s most powerful in conventional military terms…

It’s unclear how much NATO’s own actions are driving the escalation, but only one side (Russia) has mentioned a “pre-war state,” which has drawn a response…

For a year now, the main theme in the Russian military doctrine has been a “prewar situation.”

“It took just three years for the ‘prewar state’ meme to make it from a retired colonel’s interview to a speech delivered by the President to the Federal Assembly… (more)