On Monday, a Norwegian military exercise turned tragic for a civilian commuter in rural Nord Toendelag County in central Norway. Norwegian police and military officials report that one person was killed when a tank collided with a car as it crossed a country roadway.
The tank intercepted the roadway as part of the Cold Response NATO exercises taking place in the sparsely populated section of Norway.
According to Lt. Col. Aleksander Jankov, speaking on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces, the tank involved in the accident was a Norwegian "armoured recovery vehicle."
The Cold Response exercise, a 15,000-soldier show of force between NATO and partner countries, is part of the alliance’s anti-Russian escalation. Both NATO and US officials earlier contended that the exercises are necessary to repel so-called Russian aggression throughout Europe.
Cold Response 2016, among the biggest NATO exercises since the Cold War, is taking place along the Russian border. In response to recent criticism from Russia, NATO officials have scaled back their rhetoric, suggesting that the exercise "isn’t a part of any response" to Moscow’s actions.
In the view of Russian officials, the death is not only tragic but entirely unnecessary. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at assertions that Moscow had ambitions to expand its territorial control in Europe, calling it "the sort of thing that only crazy people think when dreaming."