From Bloomberg: More than 1,000 paratroopers dropped down near St. Petersburg, as Russia wraps up three weeks of war games simulating a NATO attack.

Russia, together with ally Belarus, is conducting land, air and sea maneuvers dubbed “West 2009” to test command coordination in the event of an invasion from Poland and the Baltic states, state broadcaster Vesti-24 reported today.

Parallel war games took place at nine Russian sites under the code name “Ladoga 2009,” after the lake near Russia’s border with Finland. Vesti showed soldiers warding off imaginary enemies in pouring rain and under the cover of night.

“The purpose of the exercises is to prepare the Belarusian and Russian armed forces for securing the strategic stability of the eastern European region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on its Web site as the war games started on Sept. 8. (Zha Chunming/Xinhua)