Russia launches war games on NATO's eastern flank

Russia launches war games on NATO's eastern flankRussia on Thursday began major joint military exercises with Belarus along the European Union's eastern flank -- a show of strength that has rattled nervous NATO members. Named Zapad-2017 (West-2017), the manoeuvres, scheduled to last until September 20, are taking place on the territory of Moscow's closest ally Belarus, in Russia's European exclave of Kaliningrad and in its frontier Pskov and Leningrad regions. Moscow says the drills will involve 12,700 troops, 70 aircraft, 250 tanks and 10 battleships testing their firepower against an imaginary foe close to borders with Poland and the Baltic States.