Alexander Lukashenko

The enemies are fake, but Russia's war games are real. So is the alarm.

The enemies are fake, but Russia's war games are real. So is the alarm.

When Russian troops reach the border of the “Republic of Veyshnoria” as scheduled this week, the enclave’s patriotic defenders have pledged, according to their ministry of foreign affair’s Twitter account, to greet defectors from the Russian military with Veyshnorian hospitality: stew, honey, bread and lard.

Veyshnoria is not a real country, but a hypothetical adversary created for this week’s massive joint military exercises conducted by Russia and Belarus. The operation, Zapad 2017, will be one of the largest Russian military exercises since the Cold War.

And while Veyshnoria is make-believe, the hype around the exercises unfolding along NATO’s borders has put Western...

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