WikiLeaks: NATO unimpressed by Russia’s military

Over 12,000 service personnel participated in Zapad 2009, a the joint military exercise by Russia and Belarus.

From Slobodan Lekic, the AP:  NATO was not impressed by Russia’s military performance after two large maneuvers in 2009 because its forces relied on aging equipment, lacked transport and suffered from manpower shortages, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.

Russia’s armed forces would be able to respond only to a small-to-mid-sized local conflict in the country’s western regions, according to a cable from the U.S. mission to NATO released Monday on the WikiLeaks secret-spilling site. The maneuvers demonstrated they would not be able to fight in two small conflicts simultaneously or to mount larger-scale operations, the U.S. cable said, citing a report by NATO’s military staff.

The documents also claimed that Russia’s army and air force could not cooperate properly and lacked all-weather capability.

The NATO report followed two large maneuvers, codenamed Ladoga and Zapad, in Russia’s western regions during 2009. They were intended to test the Russian military after its lightning 2008 victory over Georgia. …

The report claimed the Russian military still appeared prepared to use short-range battlefied nuclear weapons even in small conflicts. Russia is believed to have over 1,000 tactical nuclear warheads in its arsenal. These are not banned under international treaties.  (photo: Belarussian Telegraph Agency)

Image: bta%207%2029%2010%20Zapad%202009.jpg