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Csaba Krizsan / MTI via AP

U.S. commanders are preparing American troops to confront the Russian military threat in Eastern Europe, including reintroducing Cold War-era tactics, the NYT reports.

The training shift for the U.S. Army includes working in smaller operating groups that are harder to target, using camouflage to avoid surveillance drones and rocket attacks, repainting battle tanks from desert-tan to dark green to match the terrain, and launching military exercises to learn and prepare for Russian tactics. Last month, 25,000 American and allied forces practiced tactics, including nighttime aerial assaults, across Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria over 10 days.

  • Several of the officers leading the effort were originally trained to counter Soviet operations, transferred to counter non-state actors, and now are returning to their roots.
  • Countering the threat: The U.S. and its NATO allies have positioned thousands of soldiers in the three Baltic States as well as in Poland to deter Russia, and ramped up air, sea, and underwater patrols from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
  • One new challenge: But there's many fewer soldiers there now (30,000) than during the Cold War (300,000), which means the Army is focusing efforts on how quickly troops and equipment can assemble in areas of need.

Context: This comes in response to Russia's increased aggression, particularly in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin has been investing in modern infantry forces, tanks, and artillery, and has modernized surveillance drones that coordinate strikes from afar, not to mention Russia's cyberwarfare capabilities. Russia has scheduled an exercise for next month on the edge of NATO territory that could involve as many as 100,000 troops.

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.

Kenosha shooting lawsuit accuses police of coordinating with militia

Police and protesters confront in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse on Aug. 25, 2020. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The only survivor of a fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests last year has accused law enforcement in a lawsuit of conspiring with a "band of white nationalist vigilantes," the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Of note: Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, is due to stand trial on Nov. 1, accused of wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, who filed the suit, and killing two other people protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 25, 2020. He's pleaded not guilty to charges including homicide and attempted homicide and maintains he fired in self-defense.