Defense official says, Russia is now in a better position for attacking

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t gone to plan, and its military has seen big losses. But a European defense official said Russia now seems to be in a better position to attack elsewhere. It has a larger force, has more war experience, and is fixing its mistakes, he said. Russia seems to be in a better position to launch a future attack on a NATO member state, despite its performance in Ukraine, a European defense official told us. Lithuania, a NATO member that has borders with Russia and its ally Belarus, has been ramping up its defense spending and military readiness since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Vaidotas Urbelis, the defense policy director of Lithuania’s defense ministry, told BI that his country has to be prepared for the “worst case scenario,” which he says is a Russian attack. Urbelis said that despite its setbacks, Russia seems to be better prepared for a future attack than it was for the invasion of Ukraine. “Now they have experience in fighting large-scale war that should be considered as a part of planning,” he said. And, he added, “If you look just at sheer numbers, Russia now has more people in armed forces than it had before the invasion.” Urbelis said it can also be assumed that despite Russia’s equipment losses, it “would be able to recuperate pretty rapidly.” Russia failed to take Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, early in its invasion, despite its much larger and better-supplied military. It then turned its focus east, where the war has turned into a grinding, attritional one with few large gains for either side. While it seems like a poor showing for one of the world’s largest militaries, against a much smaller force, Russia is fixing some of its mistakes, including increasing weapons manufacturing to address shortages and rethinking some ineffective tactics. Urbelis said Lithuania has to be prepared, as Russia sees it and the regions close to it “as part of their own realm.” Lithuania, like Ukraine, was once part of the Soviet Union and is now an independent country. It’s in both the EU and NATO. Other NATO states have also warned that a Russian attack on a member state in the future is likely. Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said last month that Russia could attack a NATO country within the next five to eight years. “We hear threats from the Kremlin almost every day,” he said. And Denmark’s defense minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, also warned this month that Russia could attack a member within the next five years. Meanwhile, Lithuania’s foreign minister said last year that it’s only a matter of time before Russia attacks elsewhere in Europe if the war in Ukraine ends in anything but Russia’s total defeat. Lithuania’s NATO membership means it can call on the military strength of all member states if it’s attacked, including the US, as an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. But Urbelis said Lithuania has to be prepared to respond quickly instead of waiting for NATO’s machinery to kick in. It needs to “be prepared to fight any moment,” he said. This includes stationing more NATO troops permanently in the country, boosting defense spending, and ramping up border protections. Lithuania is already Ukraine’s strongest backer in terms of GDP, and has repeatedly advocated for sending Ukraine advanced weaponry, a less-cautious approach than many other allies. Urbelis said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strengthened NATO, but urged members to ramp up their defense efforts. “As an alliance, I think we are on good track,” he said, adding: “But not fast enough. “
Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *