Report: Russia Could Attack Three NATO Countries With 24 Hours’ Notice
Russia is capable of launching an attack against the Baltic states within a day’s notice, according to a report released Monday by Lithuania’s intelligence service.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, all members of both the European Union and NATO, have been on high alert since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russia has significantly upgraded its military in the region over the past year, according to the report, to cut the lead time of an attack and slow down NATO’s ability to respond.
“This is a signal to NATO to improve its decision speed,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said of the report, according to Reuters. “NATO’s reaction time is not as fast as we would like it to be.”
The Soviet Union annexed the Baltic states during the 1940s and Karoblis warned Russian propaganda is circling to destabilize the region.
“They are saying our capital Vilnius should not belong to Lithuania because between the first and second world wars it was occupied by Poland,” Karoblis said, according to The Guardian. “It’s history of course, but Russia is using this pretext.”
Lithuanians take survival classes in preparation of a Russian invasion. The government has also published a 75-page booklet on how they should react when the Russians come knocking.
“It is most important that the civilians are aware and have a will to resist – when these elements are strong, an aggressor has difficulties in creating an environment for military invasion,” an excerpt of the manual reads, according to BBC.
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