NewsEstonian intelligence: Russia gears up for conflict with NATO

Estonian intelligence: Russia gears up for conflict with NATO

"Foreign Policy": Russian armed forces are intensively preparing for a potential war with NATO
"Foreign Policy": Russian armed forces are intensively preparing for a potential war with NATO
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12:58 PM EDT, March 15, 2024

The American magazine "Foreign Policy," drawing on information from Estonian intelligence sources, reports that the Russian army is preparing for the next war, anticipating a conflict with NATO within the coming decade.

More than two years following the invasion of Ukraine, Russian leader Vladimir Putin appears to be solidifying his position. His principal political opponent, Aleksiej Navalny, has died, and the United States' decision to provide further military support to Ukraine is stalled in Congress. In the meantime, Russia has transitioned its economy to accommodate wartime demands, ramping up defence production and achieving economic growth despite international sanctions, according to "Foreign Policy".

Adapting to challenges, says Estonian intelligence

Kaupo Rosin, Director-General of Estonian foreign intelligence, states that "all of this is once again aligning more or less with the Kremlin's plan". He observes that the Russian military has quickly learned from its initial errors in the war and is adapting to new challenges with remarkable efficiency.

Rosin comments on the Russian approach to problem-solving, noting, "Russians have historically tackled their issues with sheer numbers, and it has historically worked for them". He anticipates that the restructuring of the Russian armed forces will lead to the formation of a force characterized by lower technological sophistication in the style of the Soviet era, but with substantial firepower, including artillery.

By the end of 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed plans to expand the armed forces by 30 percent, aiming for a total of 1.5 million by 2026. Estonian intelligence forecasts that Russia will double its troops in the West compared to the forces stationed there just before the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian firepower boosted by international support

- By tapping into its artillery missile reserves, increasing production, and securing supplies from North Korea and Iran, Russia has managed to gain a significant firepower advantage over Ukraine, at a ratio of approximately seven to one, notes Ants Kiviselg, head of Estonian military intelligence.

Rosin stresses that "a war between Russia and NATO is not a foregone conclusion, with much still possible to deter Moscow". - The future actions of the West are crucial - he adds.

Ensuring Ukraine's victory in this conflict is a key objective, according to the Director of Estonian foreign intelligence. - "The outcome of this war is pivotal for the future of Europe," he remarks.

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