In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, a fisherman angles fish at the bay of the Russian Baltic Fleet base of Baltiysk, Russia. (AP Photo/Nataliya Vasilyeva)
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Russia held civil defense drills involving 40 million people this month, the largest since the collapse of the Soviet Union.Even in Kaliningrad, a heavily militarized Russian outpost surrounded by NATO members Lithuania and Poland, people see the messages as mere posturing.The harbor of Baltiysk, home of Russia's Baltic Fleet, is downright sleepy. NATO held a high-profile summit in nearby Poland in July, and the Western alliance's troops are building up positions in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as tensions with Russia escalate.The United States is sending 1,000 troops to Poland next year, and its concerns about an unwanted confrontation with Russia have played heavily into President Barack Obama's reluctance to engage militarily in Syria's civil war.Russia, for its part, held a flurry of Baltic Fleet exercises this year, with marines practicing landings, ships firing surface-to-air missiles, fighter jets dropping bombs and troops capturing saboteur divers.The poll, which interviewed 1,600 people in 48 Russian regions, had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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