With NATO nations, particularly the US, committing more and more troops to their eastern frontier, along the Russian border, the Russian government is taking the new NATO war games in Poland, described as the largest since the Cold War, and indeed the largest in Poland ever, extremely seriously.
The Kremlin warned NATO that the new exercises are undermining trust along the already tense border, and reports have Russia adding new deployments along their Western frontier, setting up new bases and expanding others along the border.
In both cases, the buildup along the frontier is being presented as a reaction to the other side’s buildup, and in both cases shows no signs of slowing down. Russia, with its much smaller military budget, is obviously limited compared to the US in the scope of its deployment, but has the advantage of deploying in Russian territory, as opposed to far-flung allies’ countries.
Apart from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, a lot of the deployments on both sides aren’t even directly on the other faction’s border, but rather on respective sides of Ukraine and Belarus, meaning those nations are trapped in the middle of an increasingly dangerous region.
Of course Ukraine has been envisioning “World War 3” against Russia for a couple of years now, but largely the buildups, particularly on the NATO side, appear to be an end unto themselves, just an excuse to add to military budgets, and to provide a justification for the continuation of NATO decades after the end of the Cold War.