Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

    Leaked German military documents laid out a doomsday scenario where Russia wins in Ukraine then invades Europe

    A NATO deployment in Eastern Europe on February 5, 2022, a few weeks before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

    Leaked German military documents outlined a scenario where Russia goes to war with NATO. It envisages Russia winning in Ukraine then seeking to seize territory in the Baltics.Militaries often produce such internal documents to help plan for worst-case scenarios. 

    Leaked German military documents describe a chilling scenario where Russia wins in Ukraine then goes to war with NATO.

    The classified documents were obtained by Bild, the German tabloid. (Bild and Business Insider share a parent company — Axel Springer.)

    The documents, produced by Germany’s defense ministry, imagine a situation in which Russia launches a massive spring 2024 offensive to take advantage of waning Western support.

    In this scenario, it defeats Ukraine.

    The documents are not a prediction, but instead part of worst-case scenario planning that is a common exercise within militaries. A German official called the scenario “extremely unlikely.”

    The German documents imagined Russia turning its sights on NATO members in Eastern Europe, seeking to destabilize its enemies through cyber attacks and inciting internal chaos in the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

    It imagines Russia staging a series of escalations, then moving troops and weapons closer to the Baltic states, via its ally Belarus and also using Kaliningrad, the small, detached region of Russia which is surrounded by NATO states and the Baltic Sea.

    A map showing the Baltic states and their neighbors. Kaliningrad, part of Russia, is visible, as is Belarus and the Suwalki Gap.

    The end goal would be to move Russian troops into the Suwalki Gap, according to the Bild report on the documents.

    The gap is a 62-mile stretch of land separating Kaliningrad and Belarus.

    It has long been considered a weak spot on NATO’s east. If occupied by Russia it would cut the Baltic states off from other parts of Europe.

    Under the scenario obtained by Bild, NATO would fight Russia to prevent it from occupying the gap. (NATO membership obliges states to come to each other’s defense if attacked.)

    It envisages the face-off coming to a head in early 2025, with Russia seeking to take advantage of the upheaval that could follow a new US administration taking office after the 2024 presidential election.

    A German MoD spokesperson told Bild that “considering different scenarios, even if they are extremely unlikely, is part of everyday military business, especially training.”

    The Institute for the Study of War, a US think tank, noted that such documents are ordinary in military planning. It said that the timeline suggested was improbable.

    But it warned that without continued Western support, Russia could indeed push as far as the borders of NATO countries.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kremlin officials have long menaced NATO over its support for Ukraine.

    But Putin in December denied US President Joe Biden’s claims Russia could go to war with NATO, describing them as “complete nonsense.” European leaders and officials have long sounded the alarm about renewed Russian aggression against other parts of Europe if it wins in Ukraine.

    Polish security minister Jacek Siewiera warned in December that an attack could come in as little as three years, and would likely target NATO’s eastern flank.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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