Russians See U.S. Presence In Latvia As A Prelude To War

U.S. Troops unloading a tank in Riga, Latvia, March 9, 2015 – AP
While U.S. troops posting photos and videos from their NATO “Atlantic Resolve” training mission in the Baltic, many Russians are lashing out with vitriolic posts of their own.
he U.S. sent approximately 3,000 troops and 75 tanks and helicopters to the Baltics on Monday for military training exercises with troops from NATO member countries Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The show of Western force so close to Russia’s border comes in response to a pronounced concern about Russian aggression in Ukraine coming out of the Baltic states. While exercises are planned to last for three months, but Army General John O’Conner told Russian news agency TASS the forces will stay “for as long as required to deter Russian aggression.”

Popular tags among both U.S. troops and official military accounts that captured the exercises include #AlliedStrong, #AtlanticResolve and #Solidarity.

Users in both Russia and Latvia are taking the growing NATO military presence—which includes the arrival of vehicles, tanks and hundreds of American soldiers—as a prelude to a ground war and using those official U.S. posts and photos as opportunities to vent their fears and hatreds.

Translation: “Have you seen what they rolled up to us?”

Translation: “What would Americans think if 700 Russian military vehicles, tanks and choppers landed 200 miles from New York?”

Translation: “Latvia doesn’t get that in case of a provocation by the US and NATO Latvia will be the one to suffer while the others will escape. Fucking democracy.

Translation: “America is preparing the people of Latvia to a war”

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Russia is gearing up to “react” to the growing presence of NATO troops along Russian borders. “We have confirmed our stance that military buildup near our border does not contribute to the restoration of trust in the Euroatlantic,” he said. “We are forced to react in an adequate way, but we are sure that these problems need to be solved through an equal dialogue based on mutual respect.”