February 7, 2012
The Middle East Media Research Institute, an Israel-centric propaganda outfit run by a former colonel in Israeli intelligence, has posted a video and transcript of an interview with retired Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, a former member of the Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff. The interview aired on Russia Today on February 1, 2012, according to MEMRI.
During the interview, Ivashov said scheduled military exercises by Russia will be used to demonstrate that it is opposed to military operations by Israel and the United States against Iran and Syria. Ivashov said both countries are “guaranteed partners of Russia” and attacks against them would be unacceptable.
“A strike against Syria or Iran is an indirect strike against Russia and its interests. Russia would lose important positions and allies in the Arab world. Therefore, by defending Syria, Russia is defending its own interests,” he said.
Ivashov said what the United States and NATO did in Libya is “nearly identical” to what Hitler and the Nazis did in Poland and Russia. He said Russia is protecting the world from fascism.
It is not clear what military exercise Ivashov was referring to during the interview. According to RIA Novosti, the Russian state owned news agency, Russia and India Monday started preparations for the joint INDRA-2012 military exercises scheduled to be held in Russia this summer.
India and Russia have conducted five of the INDRA-series joint ground and naval exercises since 2003.