NATO is set to create a new 200,000 strong force to “wipe Russia off the earth” if Putin invades an ally country, it has been reported.
The new Allied Reaction Force (ARF) will be a six times larger than the current formation that stands ready to repel Russian aggression, the NATO Response Force (NRF).
The world’s most powerful military alliance has been given a new lease of life by the Russian tyrant’s invasion of Ukraine and it has shipped large quantities of arms to the embattled nation.
It’s feared Putin could lash out at Nato, in particular Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which were once ruled from Moscow.
In response the alliance is set to announce a massive expansion in readiness, two military officers with knowledge of the plans told Sky News.
"The ARF will be about six times bigger than the NRF - significantly more," said one officer.
The top official in Estonia's Ministry of Defence said having troop larger numbers already on the ground would spell doom for Russia if it tried to invade.
"You are able to put up adequate, sufficient forces and you indicate to your potential adversary that the force-overmatch is on a level that [the adversary] would lose immediately," he said.
"This message should translate into a loss of their willingness to invade.
“Russia can read from it that even if they tried they would be wiped off the earth in the first few hours."
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NATO is also planning to strengthen its defences in eight countries along its eastern and southeastern borders.
Its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance will agree "to strengthen battlegroups in the east up to brigade level".
A battlegroup comprises about 1,000 troops, while a brigade can be between 3,000 and 5,000.
This points to deployments in the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania growing further.
NATO’s political and military leaders have sought to use the Russian aggression to galvanise the alliance.
British general Sir Patrick Sanders issued a rallying call to troops to prepare to fight and beat Russian forces in a Third World War as when he recently took command of the UK’s land forces.
At a meeting of the alliance at its Brussels headquarters, one defence minister reportedly said the atrocities carried out by the Russians at Bucha can’t be allowed to happen on NATO territory.
Meanwhile on the Russian side, there has been a mixture of provocation and blood curdling rhetoric.
In the last week, a Russian warship violated NATO waters twice in what was described as an “unacceptable provocation”.
Denmark's military says a Russian corvette entered its territorial waters in the early hours of Friday near the island of Christiansoe in the Baltic Sea.
And an ally of Putin has threatened to nuke Britain into extinction in a Third World War and warned Nato is “playing with fire”.
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