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Russia's Latest Game: Challenging NATO at Sea

The Zapad military exercise showed that NATO and its Nordic neighbors need to coordinate more closely.
Enemy ahoy.

Enemy ahoy.

Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP/Getty Images

Russia just conquered a fictional country, and it's scaring the heck out of some real ones. The Kremlin's recent Zapad war game shows the need for NATO to do more to deter Russian aggression not just on land, but also on the Baltic Sea.

In the exercise, Russia sent an estimated 100,000 troops to defend against a mock attack from the state of "Veyshnoria." For the most part, it took place in the former Soviet republic of Belarus and in Kaliningrad, a tiny, well-armed Russian territory between Lithuania and Poland. But Russians also dispatched their Baltic fleet, which includes destroyers and several attack submarines, as well as a major naval force into the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Norway, a NATO member.