No NATO country has ever attacked another state under the guise of military exercises. Only Russia is famous for this, and it was in this way that it launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The Russian media continue to churn out “analytical” materials about NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise. Spreading false narratives about the Alliance’s “aggression against Russia,” pro-Kremlin media claimed that the “real goal” of the allies’ maneuvers is to “unleash” World War III, “occupy the Arctic” and “capture” Ukraine. 


In light of the consideration of Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as the Arctic, as a potential platform for resolving the conflict over the Union State, the United States and NATO countries are intensifying their military activities in the region,” the Russian media wrote.

Steadfast Defender is a regular deterrence exercise in which troops from across the Alliance practice defending European NATO allies, not attacking third countries. The exercises pose no threat to Russia, and certainly are not aimed at practicing maneuvers to “occupy” the Arctic, Ukraine, or any other territory or state. The maneuvers were planned long before they took place, and information about them was shared with other states. No NATO country has ever attacked another state under the guise of military exercises – only Russia is famous for this, and it was in this way that it launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The Alliance, in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the possibility of its expansion to other European countries, has begun to develop new defense plans for the territories that NATO believes Russia could use to launch an invasion. Therefore, the legend of the exercise involves the deployment of forces from North America and other parts of the Alliance to Eastern Europe in order to create the ability to counter a hypothetical large-scale threat to the allies. 

The exercise involves approximately 90,000 troops from all NATO countries and more than 1,200 pieces of equipment, including ground combat vehicles, naval weapons, and aircraft. The maneuvers are multifaceted – Allied forces will demonstrate their individual and combined defense capabilities on land, in the air, at sea, in cyberspace and in space. Capabilities in a variety of domains will demonstrate NATO’s commitment to collective defense, regardless of the mode of hypothetical attack. 

This is indeed the largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War, just as Russia’s war in Ukraine is the largest aggression on the continent since 1939. It was Russia’s attack that prompted the Alliance to mobilize all efforts to reorganize NATO’s defense plans. Back in February 2022, NATO member states revised their Strategic Concept. The Alliance recognized Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to security in Europe. However, to address the propaganda claiming “NATO aggression,” the allies wrote out a separate paragraph 9, which emphasizes that “NATO does not seek confrontation and does not pose a threat to the Russian Federation.” 

At the NATO Summit in Vilnius in the summer of 2023, NATO countries continued to develop new defense concepts to counter possible Russian aggression. These plans were not hidden from the public and were widely covered by the press. The summit emphasized that Russia’s attack on Ukraine forced NATO to strengthen deterrence and defense measures, as well as to develop new regional plans and new force models involving a large number of allied troops. Now, during the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, the allies are practicing improving their defense plans.
Read more on this topic in StopFake’s pieces Fake: US and UK Announce Military Intervention in Ukraine, Fake: Czech General Staff  Confirmed Intentions to Send Troops to Ukraine and Fake: NATO Chief Says Alliance Preparing for War with Russia for Eight Years.