The second US armored brigade arrived in Poland and has deployed together with armored vehicles; meanwhile, the third US brigade's equipment remains in Poland, said the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.
"Thus, contrary to all the statements of NATO and the United States about the 'insignificant' amount of troops being sent to Russia's borders, now it is not a brigade that has been deployed, but a mechanized division of the US Armed Forces, where in two hours, prepared personnel can be transferred from the nearest American base in Europe (Ramstein, Germany)," Konashenkov said.
"Amid the Zapad-2017 military exercise, the ‘rotation’ of the US 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team under the Operation Atlantic Resolve plan was held in Poland and the Baltic states. All the equipment of this brigade — 87 M1A1 Abrams tanks, M109 Paladin howitzers, 144 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and around a hundred other vehicles — must have remained there. The personnel of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team must have been replaced by the servicemen of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team in order for the NATO-Russia Founding Act not to be violated," Konashenkov said.
He noted that after the Zapad-2017 drills, dozens of military attachés, observers and reporters saw that the units of the Russian Armed Forces had returned from Belarus to their points of permanent deployment. As Konashenkov stressed, hysteria in Eastern Europe "was replaced by calm and amnesia."
The Zapad-2017 military exercises were held on September 14-20 in the territory of Russia and Belarus. Some NATO member states voiced concerns about the joint exercises before they even started, saying that Russian troops deployed in Belarus for the joint military exercises could remain in Belarus after training.
Russian and Belarusian officials refuted the allegations, stating that the planned training was purely protective and didn't pose a threat to any of the Eastern European states. Russia and Belarus invited NATO specialists and foreign journalists to observe the exercises.