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NATO plans massive exercises amid rising threat of Russian attack, Bild

NATO plans massive exercises amid rising threat of Russian attack, Bild Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

NATO is planning to conduct large-scale exercises in February involving approximately 90,000 military personnel to deter aggression from Russia. The exercises will be named Steadfast Defender, reports Bild.

According to the German press agency, the relevant maneuvers were discussed today, January 18, on the sidelines of the meeting of senior military representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance in Brussels.

Exercise scenario

The exercise scenario involves a Russian attack on NATO territory, leading to the activation of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. It regulates commitments to assist within the bloc and states that an armed attack on one or more allies is considered an attack on all.

During the exercise, notifications and deployment of national and multinational ground forces will be verified.

Details of the conduct

It is noted that the exercises are planned to be organized in Northern Norway, and other planned maneuver locations include Lithuania and Hungary.

The Bundeswehr will provide 12,000 soldiers, as well as 3,000 vehicles and 30 aircraft. From the UK, an aircraft carrier and several F-35 fighters are expected to be provided, according to the publication.

It is worth noting that the expected number of military personnel in the upcoming NATO exercises, at 90,000, makes them the largest since the end of the Cold War. For comparison, about 125,000 soldiers were involved in a series of maneuvers in 1988.

Russian threat to Europe and NATO

In recent weeks, more and more European leaders have been warning of the growing threat of a Russian attack on NATO countries.

Recently, Bild reported that the Bundeswehr was preparing for a hybrid Russian attack on the eastern flank of NATO. A military conflict could occur as early as February of this year.

Also, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas recently stated that if Western countries didn't help Ukraine win the war against Russia, NATO could be the next target of invasion.

It was also reported that Sweden would send two new submarines to the Baltic Sea to counter Russia.