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English: Zapad-2009 military exercises. Русски...

Zapad-2009 military exercises. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Karlis Neretnieks (Ret MG, Swedish Army) , Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences, October 14, 2013

Russia´s military capabilities are rising fast. The exercise Zapad 2013 clearly shows that the Russian Armed Forces have left the deplorable state they were in some ten years ago, and that the lessons learned from the Georgia conflict in 2008 are being implemented. The new command structure with Strategic Commands and leaner tactical units is being tested. It is not yet perfect, but Zapad 2013 will give valuable lessons…

…Altogether we see a rapidly increasing Russian capability to mount large scale, complex, military operations in its neighbourhood, coordinated with operations in other areas. It would be a mistake to see this just a problem for the Baltic States. It should have implications for most of Russia´s neighbours, and also for other parties interested in the security and stability in the Baltic Sea region…(more)

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