The multinational air exercise Cobra Warrior 2022 that was slated to begin today in the UK has been cancelled due
The multinational air exercise Cobra Warrior 2022 that was slated to begin today in the UK has been cancelled due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Organized by the British Royal Air Force and originally scheduled to last until March 27, Cobra Warrior is one of the largest international air exercises.
The exercise trains pilots and other air specialists in planning and executing complex airborne missions. It brings together pilots and fighter jets from countries including Sweden, Belgium, the US, India and Saudi Arabia.
Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has shocked Europe, resulting in some of the worst violence and casualties seen on the continent since the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously cited the positioning of NATO and other Western forces around Europe as the principal factor heightening Russia’s anxiety.
Expect the cancellation of Cobra Warrior’s air exercises to do little to alleviate Europe’s tensions. While it’s likely Putin would’ve used the exercise to further criticize Western agitation, it is likely too late for such efforts to meaningfully deescalate the situation, as Russian forces take Ukrainian cities including Kherson. Expect the UK to reroute resources from the exercise towards Ukraine in a show of further solidarity.