BRITAIN has sent tanks, drones and 800 soldiers to the Russian border as tensions with Vladimir Putin intensify by the hour.
The show of force comes just days after the Russian leader’s fleet passed near the British coast.
British soldiers will travel to Estonia in what is one of the biggest build-ups of foreign firepower on Russia’s border since the Cold War.The move will take place next spring, with Denmark and France also taking part in the huge military exercise.
British troops, tanks and drones are being sent to the Russian borderThe project was revealed by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who said the UK’s forces will be “fully combat-capable”.He said: “That battalion will be defensive in nature, but it will be fully combat-capable.
“This is about two things: reassurance, and that needs to be done with some formidable presence, and deterrence.
“This is not simply a trip-wire. This is a serious military presence.”
Russian soldiers parading in Red Square
Cold War-style tensions between Moscow and Washington took a further dip this week after the US revealed plans to station marines in Norway – just a few hundred miles from the border with Russia.Officials in Norway and the US said they were considering a deal for extra equipment and training for the Scandinavian country.
Russia has reacted angrily to the plans, saying there was “the absence of threat from Russia to Norway”.
A Russian aircraft carrier off the British coast earlier this month
Mr Putin made a similar show of force last month, when he orchestrated a military evacuation drill including a staggering 40 million people.The huge four-day “civil defence” drill set alarm bells ringing in Washington and London, with tensions already high over disagreements in Syria.
Russia’s Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disaster revealed 40 million civilians, 200,000 emergency rescuers and 50,000 units of equipment were involved in the war game, which ran from October 4 to October 7.
A Russian soldier taking part in a military exercise last year
And last month two RAF jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers which had flown threateningly close to British airspace.While the two Russian Blackjack bombers did not enter British airspace, authorities were alarmed when they passed to the west of the Shetland Islands.