NewsBaltic nations boost defenses amid growing fears of Russian aggression

Baltic nations boost defenses amid growing fears of Russian aggression

Vladimir Putin may already be considering war scenarios with NATO, with the Baltic states possibly being the first to be targeted.
Vladimir Putin may already be considering war scenarios with NATO, with the Baltic states possibly being the first to be targeted.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor#8523328

5:57 AM EDT, March 27, 2024

NATO countries close to Russia are gearing up for potential threats by ramping up their defense spending, fortifying borders, and looking to the West for security against possible Russian aggression. The uncertainty around President Vladimir Putin's next moves has everyone on edge.
The mood in the Baltic states is tense yet calm, monitored closely by the website While these Russian neighbors are concerned, panic is not in the air. However, public discussions about the possibility of a military threat have become more frequent.
Sulev Vedler, deputy editor of the Estonian newspaper "Eesti Ekspress," pointed out that fears of a Russian invasion aren't new but have intensified lately. Estonians are realizing that NATO’s protection, specifically Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, might not be foolproof.

Estonia plans to build 600 bunkers along its border with Russia and has ramped up specialized training in its compulsory military service. The Defense League, a volunteer national-defense group, is also growing stronger.

The significant Russian minority in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, with their Soviet-era histories, could serve as a rationale for Russian military intervention and a potential hindrance to NATO's response. Conflicts could arise from alleged "rights violations" of Russians living abroad.

Baltic states prepare shelters amid fears of a Putin-led attack

According to Jerzy Marek Nowakowski, a former ambassador to Latvia, similar dangers loom over each Baltic country, reminiscent of scenarios seen in Crimea or Donbas. He noted that Russia is adept in hybrid warfare techniques and might target the Baltics.

The former ambassador suggested such incidents in the Baltic states could happen by the end of this year or early next. Experts believe the Kremlin will be ready for a confrontation with NATO in three years, hinting at possible preemptive actions by Moscow.

Evidence of Russia's comprehensive military preparations following Ukraine includes increased intelligence activities and disruptions in GPS functionality observed in the Baltic area recently.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia agreed to establish a Baltic defense line in January. On the X platform, this initiative aims to "defend NATO's eastern flank and restrict enemy movements," according to Andris Spruds, Latvia's Minister of Defense.

Related content