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Russia tensions explode as NATO special forces carry out operation in Putin's backyard

Fears have erupted over a possible escalation in the threat of a Russia-NATO conflict as an ally of the organisation conducts joint military drills close to the country.

From May 9 to 16, roughly 400 Moldovan and American soldiers will participate in Swift Response 2024 in Moldova, in which several military-technical units will be deployed along roads.

Swift Response is part of the multinational exercise Defender Europe 24 and is intended for Moldovan and American special operations forces.

Moldova Libera said on Telegram: “More than 200 Moldovan and American troops are conducting landing training as part of the two-day Swift Response exercise.

“We are talking about soldiers of the special forces battalion “Fulger”, as well as military personnel of the 82nd US Airborne Division.”

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Moldovan President Maia Sandu is pursuing a policy that will distance the country from Russia and forge closer ties with NATO and the EU.

The country is participating in more joint military maneuvers with NATO, such as Swift Response, which has sparked fierce backlash.

Moldovan political scientist Boris Shapovalov said they violate the neutral status of the country and are becoming for requent every year.

He said: “All these various programs with NATO, cooperation, partnership, joint exercises discredit the neutral status enshrined in the constitution.

“Are the authorities preparing us for some kind of war? It is absolutely not needed by any citizen of Moldova. We have always been a peaceful people.”


Moldova’s defense budget doubled this year thanks to Western influences, and Shapovalov called this unnecessary as the country does not need heightened defences.

Moldovan Ministry of Defense said: “[Troops] will perform parachute jumps in the Floresti, Falesti, and Balți districts. Combat shooting exercises will take place at the Training Center in Balti municipality. Safety measures will be followed during training to avoid disrupting public activity.”

Ion Coțofană, the senior officer leading the exercise, said Swift Response is aimed at developing the capabilities of the soldiers and ensuring they can work better as a team.

They will also put into practice modern techniques, methods and procedures of individual and collective military training.


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