NATO can't protect its Baltic members in the event of a Russian attack - Ukrainian military intelligence

Vadym Skibitskyi
Vadym Skibitskyi

Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) doesn't believe that NATO has the resources to protect its Baltic state members in the event of a Russian attack, HUR deputy chief, Vadym Skibitskyi, told The Economist.

"The Russians will capture the Baltic states in seven days," Skibitsky said.

"NATO's reaction time is 10 days."

Read also: The Baltic states, Poland, and Germany are 'undoubtedly' next on Putin's hit list - Zelenskyy

The biggest unknown factor in the war is "Europe", he said.

Unless Ukraine's neighbors find a way to increase defense production to help fight Russian aggression, they too will eventually find themselves in Russia's crosshairs.

"The courage and self-sacrifice of Ukraine gave Europe a multi-year head start," removing the immediate threat from Russia's "once formidable" airborne troops and marines for at least a decade, said Skibitsky.

The question is, "Will Europe repay this (by increasing defense production - ed.), leaving Ukraine is in the game."

"We will continue to fight," he said.

"We have no choice. We want to live. But the war's outcome [...] depends not only on us."

Read also: Kaja Kallas to Europe: Prepare now for Russian military advances

Possible Russian attack on NATO

Russia may try to attack Europe in late 2024 or early 2025, when the USA will be "without a leader" and will only be able to come to the aid of European states after some delay, Bild reported in December 2023, citing European intelligence sources.

The civilian population in the West should prepare for a “total war” with Russia, NATO’s Military Committee chair, Admiral Rob Bauer, said.

Read also: Polish President calls for NATO ammo boost to deter Russia

Europe is again "facing a military threat that has not existed for 30 years", said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in January 2024, warning of the possibility of a Russian attack in five to eight years,

The possibility of Russia starting a war against NATO next year is extremely low, Lithuania's Commander-in-Chief, Valdemaras Rupšys, said at the same time.

Russia does not want a direct military conflict with the United States and NATO and will continue asymmetric activities, American intelligence reported in March 2024. U.S. intelligence does not believe the war will cross the threshold of a global military conflict.

Russia is preparing for a large-scale conflict with NATO and may attack at least part of the Alliance's territory as early as 2026, German intelligence said.

In case of an attack by Russia, Estonia would be able to repel its attack and win the war,  Estonian Defense Forces head, General Martin Herem, said on April 18.

Read also: Western allies should not have limits on aid to Ukraine — Estonia

NATO planners consider a direct Russian invasion of NATO member states unlikely in the near future, the Wall Street Journal wrote on April 30.

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