It’s significant that the most read article in TASS, Russia’s leading paper, concerns the massive military drills in Belarus. It reports that the Zapad-2017 joint Russian-Belarusian drills will take place on September 14-20, at six training ranges in Belarus and three training ranges in Russia.
Source: TASS: Military & Defense – Zapad-2017 drills in Belarus to involve 98 Russian tanks
NATO has been concerned about the small number of international observers at these drills.
Perhaps the Russian people are fearful of the drill becoming an incursion into Eastern Europe, bringing more sanctions and hardship, plus, of course, the risk of spilling Russian blood?