Features

If Putin comes, the Poles are waiting - a report from Nato's new frontline

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

Late last month, on a windswept plain near the Polish town of Zagan, the defence ministers of Poland, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands joined the Nato secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, to watch Nato’s response to Russia’s incursions into eastern Europe. The dramatic culmination of a week of military manoeuvres, Exercise Noble Jump was a spectacular show of force by Nato’s new VJTF brigade. More than 2,000 troops from nine countries fought a fierce mock-battle against irregular militia, with live ammunition. Huddled in the attendant press pack, struggling to insert my earplugs, this awesome demonstration felt like confirmation — if any were needed — that Europe stands on the brink of a new cold war.

The demonstration began with an assault on a militia hideout. Special forces moved in to dispatch the sentry with one shot. The irregulars inside were flushed out with rapid gunfire, but the militia leader escaped. Soldiers in armoured cars and on motorbikes gave chase. Fighter-bombers swooped on concealed forces and helicopters dropped more troops into the battlefield. Then the tanks rolled in. My earplugs muffled the sound of shellfire, but you could feel the force of each explosion.

No one mentioned Ukraine, but comparisons were inescapable. Nato was preparing for a new kind of conflict in which identities are not clear-cut and battle lines can be hard to draw.

NATO Holds Noble Jump Exercises Of VJTF Forces
Special Forces of the Polish Army atttack a house during a NATO exercise (Photo: Getty)

Last year I was in Estonia, one of five Nato member-states that border Russia, when Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea. My host, an Estonian politician, was aghast — he saw the invasion as an act of war. Since then, Putin has asked more questions of the West. Nato’s answer has been the biggest reinforcement since the end of the Cold War. After the Nato summit in Wales last September, the alliance’s ‘ready for action’ Response Force is expanding from 13,000 to 30,000 troops. The VJTF is its spearhead.

VJTF stands for Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (armies love imperfect acronyms) but the key words are Joint and Readiness. The Readiness part is pretty simple: from bases all over Europe, the VJTF is ready to deploy in 48 hours in any Nato country — far faster than ever before.


The Joint part is more complicated but equally important. VJTF troops will be drawn from all 28 Nato countries. This results in a far broader range of firepower than would normally be available to one brigade. Exercise Noble Jump involved Dutch light infantry, Norwegian armoured infantry, German Panzers, US Blackhawk helicopters, Belgian F16 fighter-bombers and special forces from Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands. British troops weren’t involved, but they soon will be.

NATO Holds Noble Jump Exercises Of VJTF Forces
NATO’S VJTF, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Photo: Getty)

This is the first time that Nato has created a multinational brigade from scratch, but it was actually built around a long-standing multinational force, the German-Netherlands Corps. Established 20 years ago, this corps forms the core of the interim VJTF. ‘Germany and the Netherlands have made a decision to cooperate, and to share their resources,’ says Lieutenant-General Volker Halbauer, the corps’ commander (and if the Dutch can forget their grievances against the Germans, surely anyone can). German efficiency and Dutch pragmatism is an effective combination. Combining different national traits within a single corps isn’t a liability — it’s an asset.

And it isn’t just the top brass who say so. ‘I do believe that multinational cooperation is extremely important and will grow in the future,’ says Warrant Officer Lieske. ‘Every nation has special capabilities and special knowledge.’ His German-Netherlands Corps cap badge bears a Latin motto, Communitate valemus; ‘Together we are strong.’

The VJTF takes this winning combination to a new level. The German-Netherlands Corps is normally ready to deploy within 20 to 30 days. The VJTF can be in the field within two, at the first sign of trouble. Its formation is timely. Russian defence spending has increased to 4 per cent of GDP. Nato members are still striving for 2 per cent. If Nato can’t be bigger, it must be smarter — and more cost-efficient. Pooling military expertise makes strategic and economic sense. For Britons, the idea of a ‘European Army’ may conjure up dark visions of a European superstate, but this isn’t about ever-closer union — it’s about meeting strength with strength. ‘One for all and all for one is the basic principal of this alliance,’ says Stoltenberg, as tanks rumble past and helicopters hover overhead. Like every other Nato member, Britain is duty-bound to defend any of its allies against invasion, and that includes those five Nato members which share land borders with Russia. The VJTF can be deployed in any Nato country, to counter any threat, but the locations of its six regional headquarters are telling: Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and the Baltic states.

The location of these manoeuvres underlines the historic significance of Exercise Noble Jump. This is Silesia, part of Prussia for several centuries and now part of Poland. It’s been a battleground throughout European history. Will it be a battleground again? As the German and Polish defence ministers pose for photos together beside a tank, you can’t help but marvel at how history has turned on its head. Twenty-five years ago this was Warsaw Pact territory, and Poland and Russia were allies. Now Poland and Germany are allies, and Russia is the ghost at the feast.

‘That peaceful period after the second world war is now over — there are more and more crises erupting around Europe,’ says Tomasz Siemoniak, the Polish defence minister (and deputy prime minister). ‘It’s not only the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, but also Isis and a number of different crises in northern Africa. We cannot defend our European way of life if we don’t do more for our defence.’ Noble Jump is just one of over 300 military exercises in Nato countries this year — three times as many as two years ago.

‘Clearly what we see is a Russia that has changed the landscape in Europe,’ says General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. ‘We see a Russia that has used force to cross an international boundary and change the shape of sovereign nations. And so Nato needs to be ready to meet those kinds of challenges and that’s what this force is about.’

NATO Holds Noble Jump Exercises Of VJTF Forces
The VJTF include troops from Germany, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Belgium (Photo: Getty)

Breedlove is a charismatic figure: a big man with a broad grin and a warm booming voice. He flew combat missions in Bosnia and Kosovo as a US fighter pilot, and he radiates resolve and confidence. ‘Our commitment to our collective defence is rock-solid and you’ve seen it here today,’ he says, and you believe him, but as his soldiers disperse and the press pack scuttles off in search of Wi-Fi and refreshments, my mind wanders back to Jens Stoltenberg’s press conference in Zagan the day before.

The press conference was conducted in the garden of Zagan’s Hotel Willa Park, an old German sanatorium surrounded by ancient oak trees. In that tranquil setting, Stoltenberg’s address seemed reassuring. It was only when I played back the tape that it sounded like a warning. ‘Nato does not seek confrontation with Russia,’ said the secretary general. ‘We seek and strive for a more cooperative relationship, but the precondition for that is Russia respecting the borders of its neighbours, and the fundamental rules which have been so important for peace and stability in Europe for many years. For me, there is no contradiction between defence and dialogue. Actually, I believe that strong defence — firm policies, predictability — is important as a foundation for political dialogue. Nato will continue to strive for dialogue and cooperation, but that cannot be based on weakness or uncertainty. It has to be certain that we are able to defend and protect all our allies. Based on that, we can engage with Russia in political dialogue.’

It was a lovely midsummer’s evening, far too nice to stay indoors. I took a walk into town, past the statute of the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who lived here 400 years ago, to the palace of Albrecht von Wallenstein, the ruthless general of the Thirty Years War. Zagan is a handsome place, but it still bears the scars of battle — and 40 years of communism. It’s 70 years since the German population was driven out and replaced by displaced Poles — yet a lifetime later, the second world war still feels like recent news. For the Germans who fled, and the Poles who replaced them, Zagan is a sombre reminder of what can happen to a place, and a people, when diplomacy — and deterrence — fails.

Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free


Show comments
  • Geronimo von Huxley

    Exercise good for body and mind.
    – Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852).

  • Vitor Leur

    2000 NATO troops? That is a joke. Putin did parallel military training with 50000 troops

    • damik

      Yes, looks like that Putin the Fascist is going attack another weaker neighbour again … 🙁

      • Vitor Leur

        Poles should raise a bigger army quickly

        • pp22pp

          How? Most of their young men have emigrated.

    • Jack Rocks

      Well then the forces were balanced.

  • rtj1211

    NATO propaganda for the purpose of justifying its existence. NATO is the world’s biggest aggressor since 1945, yet never stops saying it’s someone else’s fault.

    • damik

      Lies and lies, Putin’s Fascist

      • ClausewitzTheMunificent

        Yes of course, because you analysed his ideology and his actions in depth. Such a political thinker!

        • Robert Stanislaw Radziszewski

          And you must be a special kind of stupid katsap, aren’t you?

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Well, fascist is one of these words that is severely over- and mis-used. If one wants to claim that so and so is fascist and wants to invade the rest of Europe, one should provide evidence.

    • pp22pp

      Change the date to 1995 and agree with you.

      • ClausewitzTheMunificent

        Well of course NATO and the Warsaw Pact couldn’t be too aggressive during the Cold War, but afterwards…

    • Wessex Man

      oh dear.

  • Dr. Heath

    Putin is a fascist and a murderer. He has decided that the borders in ‘his’ part of Europe don’t matter, not least because the people you’d expect to protect the borders are cowards who’d do absolutely anything, however shameless and despicable, to avoid having to do what is right to preserve people’s right not to be murdered – again – or enserfed – again – by Russians. When NATO ‘moved East’, it forgot to invest its new members’ territories with actual soldiers. It’s getting rather late to do this, especially in a world where millions of Putin’s fans [fascism of any sort being perennially popular, it seems] believe – or say they believe – that NATO and it’s invisible troops have threatened and done other horrible things to ickle Russia. Putin, unlike that other, Austrian role model, has no world vision. He’s just a KGB thug who’ll do anything to cling on to power atop the dung heap that’s the Russian Federation. Killing people has proved to be his preferred tactic.

    Russia, in September 1939, committed one of the most gargantuan crimes against humanity by not only invading much of Poland and murdering thousands of Polish civilians but by enabling Hitler, in the longer run, to exterminate millions of Jews and Slavs in Europe and the USSR. So what is the point in trying to negotiate with a tyrant whose prosecutor-general has, just this week, ‘reviewed the legality’ of a decision in 1991 granting three Baltic countries independence from the Soviet? What next? A ‘review’ of the legality of Warsaw Pact countries swapping their quisling rulers and communist totalitarianism for parliamentary democracy?

    Putin lives in a grotesque fantasy world. Poles I have spoken to do not and are aware that with such a person in charge of today’s Russia, anything, however apocalyptic, is possible.

    • Chamber Pot

      You are an idiot and a war monger and it is NATO that is not a status quo power. The Americans after provoking WW3 will leave you Eastern European idiots in the lurch just as they did the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Vietnamese etc. Don’t listen to your idiot politicians.

      • Dr. Heath

        If preferring war to appeasement makes someone a warmonger, fine. Giving in, in any way, to a murdering c*nt like Putin is in the long run far costlier than standing up to him.

        By ‘in the lurch’, I assume you mean that Eastern Europeans are at risk of being overrun, yet again, by another army of semi-literate drunks and rapists from Russia if they dare to stand up for themselves. Where exactly in St Petersburg is it that you a**holes compose this horse shit? Citizens in the Baltic states and former Warsaw Pact countries asked to join NATO because, obviously, they don’t want to be bullied or invaded [again] by the backward, Third World cesspit that is the Russian Federation. Not even the million Russian-speaking natives of the Baltics – 16% of the total – actually want to subsist on the pensions and salaries on offer east of the border.

        • pp22pp

          I compose mine on the South Island of New Zealand. Greetings from beautiful Central Otago. I haven’t been to Russia in years. I do have a degree in Russian, so I can read it and most of the other Slavonic languages. Those idiots include men like Sergey Korolyov and his team who landed a probe on Venus in 1971. I agree that Stalin was a murdering pig and that Soviet soldiers raped their way across Eastern Germany, but the behaviour of the Germans, now our NATO allies, left a great deal to be desired. That was then and this is now.

          • Dr. Heath

            Thanks.

        • Mr B J Mann

          “If preferring war to appeasement makes someone a warmonger, fine. Giving in, in any way, to a murdering c*nt like Putin is in the long run far costlier than standing up to him.”

          You forgot to address his actual point and explain how that helped “the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Vietnamese”.

          Not to mention the Yugoslavs, the Kurds, the Libyans and the Syrians…..

          Or the North Koreans for that matter.

          Or even the Russians.

      • Aaron Muzambalika

        I believe that Russia is not a problem. It is America which is a war monger. America does not want the existence of mankind. This is why it supports even gay marriage. It is an evil country even in the sight of God.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Russia is only a problem in respect of all those who hate them and bear historic grudges. Being;
          Turkey, Finland, the Baltic states,Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the Czech republic, Hungary, Armenia, Georgia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Japan.

    • G B

      ‘swapping their quisling rulers and communist totalitarianism for parliamentary democracy’. I think you will find that we are swapping parliamentary democracy for quilting rulers and communist totalitarianism.

      • Dr. Heath

        Which ward are you confined to?

    • pp22pp

      The Russians don’t want a war. Why do you? Soon Eastern Europe will join Western Europe in being swallowed by the Third World. Putin didn’t do that to us. We did it to ourselves. If it’s a choice between Putin or Islam, I opt for Putin.

      • Dr. Heath

        мудак.

        • pp22pp

          Very clever. I can’t write cyrillic on my computer. Idi na khuy. I have a doctorate, too. I just don’t feel the need to flash it around. Pitiful.

          • Johnny Foreigner

            Dr Heath doesn’t need a doctorate in ‘Copy & Paste’.

      • Johnny Foreigner

        Isn’t it funny, some people are worried about the occasional poke from Putin (In my opinion, sometimes justified), but continue to vote for Libtard governments, throughout Europe, who continue to cut military spending. Funnier still, some people are worried about community cohesion and what name to call a theocratic force, bent on the destruction of the West and that a large proportion of the world, if not participates with, certainly supports. This force, which has its growing supporters in all countries of the West, have the support and protection of all Libtard governments, voted in by, for the moment, these countries majorities.
        There is only one word appropriate here, WOW.

        • styants64

          Putins pokes as you call them have murderd thousands of people, Putin is the same has those crackpots belonging to the death cult.

          • pp22pp

            Be thankful he stymied our efforts to support the Islamists in Syria.

      • Tellytubby

        If they don’t want a war they should stop invading other peoples countries then.

    • Bloke the NHS F… UP

      So, its ok for the UK and US to go round murdering women and children, and many, many millions of them, so what do you call that, a cream tea on a Sunday afternoon, at lest what happened with Russia was, was pre war with the poles, as well as the Ukraine, doing all the murdering in the death camps for the Germans, namely women and children again, I don’t suppose you know about this as you only read and believe what the papers say, whom are instructed by Cameron on what they may write.

      Your in a time when it was nothing to do with Putin, but you all keep trying to blame, you also forget the many, many Russians whom lost their life’s defeating Gerry whom was the one’s murdering many, and defeated the Germans, of which the English and Europe, were driven back by Gerry, not to mention the Russians still came over the hill at Dunkirk to finish Gerry off!!!!

      • Jack Rocks

        I think you need a history lesson. You’ll also need a brain to absorb the history lesson.

      • Dr. Heath

        The US and the UK ‘go round’ murdering millions of women and children? Sorry. You’re from some parallel universe I cannot begin to understand.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          Didn’t Madeline Albright openly accept and justify the unnecessary deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq because of the embargoes on the country and the deliberate degradation of the water supply? And that was for a 10 year period. The US and Britain have been meddling in the Near East for 20 years now and look at the Chaos!

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            To be fair, Britain had been meddling in the Middle East since 1869 and the US since 1948.

      • Dr. Heath

        Many fewer Russians would have been slaughtered had their leader not allied himself and the scores of millions of people imprisoned in the USSR with Hitler for the best part of two years. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, more so than the imbecile cowardice of British and French leaders, enabled Hitler’s onslaught on the East.

        Do you think Cameron ‘instructs’ papers what to say? What about Kevin Maguire, Labour party propagandist, and the Mirror? Or The Guardian? Do you actually live in the UK? Are you trolling for the Putin regime?

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      Shall we analyse the root causes of the Nazi-Soviet pact? Including the faithlessness of the British and French negotiators during 1937-38 over a military pact against Hitler, their 20 year hostility towards the Soviet Union, or the Soviet Unions 20 years of mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany? And now that we’re onto it, what about the Polish landgrabs in 1937 and ’38, tacitly agreed with Germany, that qualify as Nazi-Polish pacts? Poland was a nasty little fascist regime, bordering a larger, stronger, nastier one.

      • Jack Rocks

        Ah, the Nazi Soviet pact was our fault. I see. Nothing to do with Russia wanting to dismember Poland and move itself into the Baltic states. The only person Stalin ever actually trusted was Adolf Hitler. Which is kind-of funny when you think about it.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          An opportunistic land-grab is just that, as I pointed out the Poles just got treated with some of their own medicine – and have complained about it ever since. Why should the Soviet Union not have taken the Eastern half of Poland and let the Germans advance another 300km East? The Nazi-Soviet pact was not entirely the fault of the “West”, but it was to a serious degree caused by it. Most historians agree that the delegations sent to negotiate with the Soviets in 1937-8 were a joke, and had no real policy power. Yes, Stalin trusted Hitler, because to have attacked in the manner and timing which Hitler did was insane – Hitler was blessed with 2 years of exceptional luck, and the skill of his Generals, but the German planning staff were very skeptical about the success of his gambles – and they were right in the long run, because one cannot defy reality for ever.

      • Paul the Pole

        You got that history all wrong. There were no Polish landgrabs in 1937, only in 1938 a small part of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement.
        However it wasn’t agreed with Nazi Germany at all. Even better, it was agreed with … Czechoslovakia itself. On October, 2nd their Prime Minister Hodza signed a document giving the contested land (called Zaolzie) back to Poland. Yes, BACK to Poland, because this territory was forcibly taken by Czechoslovakia in 1920 when Poland was desperatly holding back against Bolshevik inavsion and didn’t had resorces to stand against Czechoslovakia simultaneously.
        Zaolzie was populated mostly by Poles (about 2/3).
        So, it had nothing to do with siding with III Reich, it had nothing to do with “little facist regime” in Poland. All it had to do with was taking back a once Polish land taken over by backstabbing Czech’s 18 years earlier.
        Only Nazi and post-war Soviet propaganda described that events as you in your post.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          You are correct, I meant 1938. Well in this case, the Germans are perfectly well entitled to threaten Poland with war over Danzig, which had been lost by the “backstabbing politicians” in 1919. Now I know that Czechoslovakia was itself an ethnic mess, and hardly the paragon of virtue of dealing with national minorities but an opportunistic land-grab is just that. You can claim that it had nothing to do with III Reich, but this would be untrue, because in the context of 1938 it helped keep Eastern Europe divided. Finally, as I pointed out, the agreement with the Germans was tacit, not overt, but if Hitler had actively not wanted it to happen, he could have pressured the Czechs into refusing and the Poles from desisting.

          • Paul the Pole

            You really should pull up your knowledge about those years.
            Germany didn’t lost Gdansk to Poland. It was an autonomous free city under the protectorate of League of Nations. War did not broke out over demand of returning it back, because Poland never took it. War broke out over demand of an exterritorial corridor from Germany to Gdansk that would essentially cut off Polish coast from rest of the country and would require giving the Third Reich control over part of Poland’s territory.
            There were indeed provocations around Gdansk but only from German side. After WW1 League of Nations guaranteed certain privileges in the city to Poland and Germany, because mostly Poles and Germans were it’s inhabitants. However from 1938 city’s senate (controlled by the time by members of NSDAP) begun making laws hitting in Polish residents and their affairs. Such laws were in direct violation of League of Nation’s rules imposed over Gdansk.
            There was no agreement of any kind with Germany about taking back Zaolzie after Munich. Whole Czech Republic was to be annexed by Germany with no exceptions. Polish government acted completly on it’s own, not even backed by UK or France.
            Why Hitler let it happened anyway? Answer is very simple. The said land was very small and with no real value to Third Reich. There were virtually none Germans living there either, so there was no point in fighting Poland over it. Even more, in late 1938 Hitler didn’t consider Poland an enemy yet. In fact he tried to make an alliance with Warsaw aimed at Soviet Union, which Poland considered by that time of more of a threat then Germany. Things went other way around in spring of 1939 when Poland signed formal alliance with UK and France, finally refusing to side itself with Hitler. That is why Germany really attacked Poland – we were standing on a way to Soviet Union, which was their No.1 enemy from the start.
            There was nothing opportunistic in taking back Zaolzie. Poland took back it’s rightful territory unrigthfully stolen by Czechoslovakia. Claim was made AFTER Munich Agreement when Czechoslovakia’s fate was already sealed, so no one can say that Poland forced something over them. However Czech’s government formal acceptance was in fact irrelevant, as they had no power in their hands right then. That’s why Polish military entered Zaolzie next day, ready to fight for it. But they weren’t to fight Czech’s, they were to fight Germans – if necessary. Was that opportunistic, huh?

    • Mr B J Mann

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

      So why do you support WWIII kicking off?

      And why do you support it being kicked off by people who have “decided that the borders in ‘his’ part of Europe” extend to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine?!?!?!

  • Charlie Harris (No Relation)

    “If Putin comes…”

    Yeah, right. He’s bound to invade Poland.

    The rhetoric is farcical and does nothing but big him up.

    • Bob-B

      Right. It’s not as though Russia ever invaded Poland before.

      • Bob Harris

        It’s not as if Europe has ever invaded Russia before either, right?

        • Samantha Jane Rose

          European countries have invaded Russia, but that being said Russia has also invaded The Baltic countries, Poland and controlled for decades Eastern Europe, we called it the Iron Curtain.

          • Bob Harris

            We typically call those events WW2.

          • styants64

            No we do not we called thoes events the Soviet occupying forces post Second World War two.

          • Bob Harris

            Which was completely signed off by Britain, the USA, France and the rest of the allies.

          • Jack Rocks

            I believe Russia and fascist Germany were allies at that point.

          • Bertie

            Indeed Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in late 1930’s

          • Samantha Jane Rose

            That minimizes it Bob, I prefer to look at the Soviet invasions and occupations of the Baltic nations on their own, as individual events. Not sure what you’re trying to state in mentioning what you mentioned.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Because Poland, Sweden never invaded Russia? Russia begs to differ.

          • Babara

            You Samantha Jane have given the best answer thank you

      • Sten vs Bren

        Gasp!

  • G B

    America fighting and profiting from another war, not on their land of course. They are so predictable and corrupt. I pity the Polish being dragged into this although I understand they are up for the conflict, if it happens. Personally I believe that Putin has been the appeaser in this and Europe and NATO the aggressors. It quite sickens me to see British politicians supporting this attack on the Russian border.

    • Bob-B

      Appeasement doesn’t normally involve grabbing the territory of your neighbour. I don’t believe Chamberlain grabbed anyone’s territory in 1938.

      • Wessex Man

        Yuo seem well versed in history, so why no mention that Crimea was part of Russia until Uncle the USSR ‘gave’ it to the Ukraine as a political gift, to keep them ‘sweat’.

        • Bob Abanai

          proving what? also lets not forget that scandinavian lands were also russian at some point so are you preparing us to look the other way in that case as well?

    • Richard N

      British governments take their orders from the US, and from Berlin. They have no foreign policy of their own – at all.

  • Alpha Farnell

    It’s wonderful stuff but it’s all meaningless. The muscle is the USA, without them – whether it’s fighting ISIS or staring down Putin – it’s all rather hollow and vacuous.

    • Bloke the NHS F… UP

      Yank got no muscle only for making propaganda films, when it come’s to real war they ride the backs of other Country’s, their term in war is shouting their mouth of, the old saying shout it loud enough and often enough and people will believe it!!!!

  • Richard Young

    The Poles have a mono cultural country worth defending.With their point blank refusal to accept illegal refugees and a foreign aid budget of less than 0.08% they know what’s good for their citizens.Patriotism is deemed worthy.Good luck to them

  • John Thomas

    Yes, we are prepared to do all this to guard ourselves against Russian expansion, but not prepared to tell the truth to ourselves about that other (more real) risk – Islamisation. Until we admit the truth of the real enemy, and its aims and strategy, we are totally powerless against it.

    • Mode4

      When you have 120 conservative MP’s that do not want ISIS called the Islamic State because it will offend our Muslim community we are no where near recognising the greatest threat to us. Quite the opposite.

  • Chamber Pot

    If I was Putin and being encircled and goaded by the Americans I would be tempted to make threats to help the Iranians with their nuclear program or better still give something wicked to North Korea. WTF are the Americans doing ?

    Russia could initiate Armageddon if it wanted to – this isn’t f*ck**g Belgium we’re talking about and by the way Putin represents no threat and has no intention of sending Panzers across the North German Plain.

    If you want to understand what is going on here all the major players responsible for the current Ukrainian disaster (Nuland et al) have connections with the crazies at PNAC ” Project for a New American Century ” whose goal is to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms.

    Putin is not playing ball and the Yanks, despite Barry fussing about gay marriage in Maryland, wants to rub Putin’s nose in it.

  • frank davidson

    2,000 troops is not even a division. Even us Brits had 42,000 in the field when we invaded Iraq. The Russians may have 2,000 tanks. Russian army currently at 395,000.

    • Roger Hudson

      When Britain was last threatened ‘existentially’ it fielded 2.6 million men, real wars are won by civilians in uniform not regular ‘tommies’.

      • Mr B J Mann

        So when am I likely to be conscripted then?!?!

    • Bloke the NHS F… UP

      Your very short on your figures, you can at lest double them, and a whole lot more!!!!
      Yank can’t go to war anyway they got no planes to do battle, until at lest 2020 plus!!!!

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        By 2020 Russia starts its death throes.

    • Jack Rocks

      2,000 tanks of which approximately 1,999 could easily be destroyed by overwhelming NATO air power (particularly the USA).

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Tanks are of little relevance today. They harp back to the Tractor production stats of the old Soviet days. So Russia has a vast army of 395,000. That is not enough to police the 142 million people spread over 6.6 million square miles, let alone project power overseas. 20% of their citizens are not ethnically Russian, 35 languages are spoken, and make life expectancy is at third world levels.
      Good luck Russia one tinpot soldier for every 430 hacked off citizens and 200 square miles of territory for each squaddie to patrol…..when he is awake.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Sounds like the UK?!?!?!?!?

        Only a lot stronger and a lot less “diverse”!!!!!

  • Roger Hudson

    What a load of propaganda BS. Putin, even Putin, will never attack a NATO country ,militarily . Of course the army called Gazprom is something else.
    The most notable paragraph was the bit about the the ethnic Germans being ethnically cleansed from East and Southeast Europe.
    Nice photo, NATO flag, Polish soldier but German machinegun.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      What I find particularly ridiculous is that the Russians would have to invade Belarus and the Baltics to even reach Poland. Poland and Russia share no land border except for the small exclave of Kaliningrad.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Putin is a joke. A Mafia puppet bereft of any diplomatic skill. Russia is a busted flush Empire in decline. It will gradually crumble away like the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires of that regions past.
        Poland on the other hand is a serious power of the future. Strategically placed and allied to Germany ,Britain and the USA. Poland stands to be a power broker of the future, just like Mexico and Turkey.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          Hahaha, you couldn’t make this up. Millions of Poland’s working age young men flee the country, it has a separate and quite severe demographic problem, has very little industry – being a cheap German workshop does not make one an industrial power. Poland is strategically placed in the sense that it has countries which it antagonizes on all its borders – good stuff! I mean I know the Poles are nationalists, but even most Poles don’t agree with you.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Russia will collapse in the 2020s, and the Eurasian balance of power will maintain itself. No need for the US to get involved. Poland is ideally placed on Russia’s periphery to poach land and assets.Poland will lead an alliance of former Warsaw pact nations supported by the US .Poland is a key player in NATO, a self-confident nation redefined in the European power structure. Polish power will assert itself in Belarus and Ukraine and be the stabilising force in that region by the 2030s.
            The EU will reorganise away from German /French domination.
            Key US allies now are Japan, Turkey and Poland.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            And who cares about who US “key allies” are? It’s not as if the US were God and it’s “key allies” somehow blessed. In any case just because the Poles give the US geopolitical blowjobs doesn’t mean that they will be loved back (see Sikorsky – in public a NATO nut, on his private observation of the failure of Polish diplomacy) Some Poles might like to dream about their lost glory and want back “their Wilno”, “their Lvov” and so on, doesn’t mean that they will get it. First, because not even the Lithuanians are dumb enough to submit to the Poles, Second because even if the Poles were to attempt conquest these illegal landgrabs would never be recognised by most civilised countries, and Third because what you say about Russia is ridiculous. Also, the Poles would have to occupy Belarus and Ukraine before even reaching Russia. Given Poland’s relative weakness, I find this highly unlikely. Moreover, if Russia were to collapse I would see it as a catastrophe, not an opportunity. Or do you want some crazy Muslim warlord, or God forbid rabid Pole seizing Russia’s nuclear arsenal? Meanwhile, there would be a new world war over the spoils. Hurrah! Nuclear world wars! Finally I find it ridiculous that you trust “Polish power” given that they are the most subsidized country in Europe. Cut the EU subsidies and Poland really would collapse (economically at least). And I say we should do precisely that, I don’t want to fork over money to some greedy Polish bureaucrat. I have several Polish friends, have an interest in Polish culture and so on, but their nationalism and foreign policy maneuvers are crazy. Why can’t states recognize the #1 lesson of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, that war and conquest in the modern age is not only hell, but hugely unprofitable?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Why would Poland seek to defeat Russia militarily? They will simply ovetake it in modernity , GDP and strategic alliances. Russia is like the Byzantine Empire in about 1200 , sclerotic and ridiculous. Surviving on its wits and ripe for catastrophic failure. 300,000 of their rich now shelter billions in London. 700,000 more in Cyprus, Swizzland and the Riveira.

          • EHGombrich

            This is a very weird conversation.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            How so. It is simply an extrapolation of current geopolitics and demographics. HVe you not read any Parag Khanna or George Freeman?

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Not quite. The Russian heartlands have not yet been lost to the Infidel, and the rockets are always ready… I love your claims about Poland’s future “strategic alliances”, since it has an excellent history and reputation of irritating its neighbours while making few friends.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Irritating its neighbours, but not going to war withwith them. Poland escape from Russia’s grip and welcome into the civilised World is the major strategic change in Europe in the last generation. Ukraine’s efforts to emulate their success is what is making the lame Bear las.h out

          • rocket6

            You reckon Europe (EU countries) and the so-called ‘Western’ nations like the USA, Australia, Canada and so forth are the ‘civilised world’! Think again. How many US presidents have been murdered? Have the Australian Aborigines got back their land? Did the little girls abused in Rotherham UK get a fair deal? Seems to me the West is full of iniquity and in equalities – a long way off being ‘civilised’.

          • Sten Gunnerman

            Good luck with your Polish poaching land from Russia expedition. What you propose in your fantasy is the strategic military equivalent of Bozo the Clown going bear hunting with a bb gun.

            Here is the RS-24 Yars missile which will soon be blasting you into the upper atmosphere in a ball of superheated radioactive gas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-24_Yars

            Rest in peace.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Who mentioned military action? Polish power will assert itself through wealth and strategic alliances. Poland renascent is the regional power of E Europe from 2030 onwards.

          • zappata

            What a joke.Poland’s brief Golden Age in the17th century was only possible due to the vacuum in Central/Eastern Europe caused by the religious turmoil in the Holy Roman Empire and Russia’s pre-occupation with the Mongol-Tatars.Once the Germans and the Russians sorted themselves out you were toast!And now you’re just a vassal state of the Germans again.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            “You?”. I am from Devon.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And Turkey will rise again as the new Caliphate?!?!?!?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Turkey and Poland will be the major powers in that region by 2040, yes.

          • rocket6

            You must be gifted with second sight or perhaps talking through your hat!

        • Mr B J Mann

          Are you saying that the old USSR will rise again like ISIS?!?!?!

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            No.Russia is nothing like ISIS, Russia had no ideology.

  • Nic_223

    Putin could be in Paris in three weeks. Europe doesnt take its defense seriously and because of that the only power which could rival Russia , the USA is not interested in helping defend Europe. If Europeans are not prepared to fight why should Americans? The question should not be 2% of GDP it should be what do we need. It could be 2% it could be 12% I do know Hitler invaded Russia with 3 million Wehrmach soldiers and it wasnt enough so when I hear about “Rapid Reaction” forces of barely 30000 troops i cant help but laugh. Russia has over 50000 troops just on the border of Ukraine and can mobilize many more.

    • Jack Rocks

      Haha, Paris in 3 weeks? Don’t be ridiculous. Western air power is overwhelming.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        No democracy has ever started a war. But lots have ended them, usually as winners.

        • Lawrence James

          Yes: the United States by invading Iraq.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The USA is not a democracy.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      The French could nuke Moscow, St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Nizhny Novgorod and Sochi in about 3 hours.
      Huge standing armies are irrelevant , otherwise Turkey and N Korea would be world powers.
      Technology and money count. At Rorkes Drift 20 soldiers and 70 sick men with rifles defeated 3,000 Zulus. Russia still likes big numbers but cannot score the one that really matters GDP.

      • Nic_223

        When it comes to nuclear the Russian also have Europe beat as they have a nuclear triad . ICBM,bombers,submarines) with over 8500 nuclear warheads and Putin is planning to build 45 updated ones that can defeat current anti ballistic missile systems. If we talk of nuclear we need heavy mechanized forces. Europe lacks there as well compared to the Russians.

  • Truly hilarious! Marxist soldiers members of NATO! Boy, IQs have really sunk in the West, huh?

    The collapse of the EU is slated after the Ukrainian emergency* is taken care of, according to the Marxist plan, since the EU collapse is to be used to form a new union with Russia (from the Atlantic to Vladivostok), a union that can’t take place until (1) the Ukraine situation is calmed, where Russian troops pull out of Crimea and eastern Ukraine; and (2) the image of Russia improves. The European Central Bank (along with the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan) is sabotaging economic productivity via low interest rates policies. Low interest rates prevent the formation of large capitalized loans for productive investments, since the expected return to the lender–the expected return being based on the interest rate as determined by the central bank–would be too low to cover the large capitalized loan. The economic sabotage policy the West (and Japan) is experiencing is a by-product of the Marxist co-option of the West’s political parties/institutions,** one purpose for the sabotage being to initiate the next major operation under the USSR & Allies’ Long-Range Policy– the collapse of the European Union, to be replaced by a new union with Russia.

    Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Soviet minister of foreign affairs Eduard Shevardnadze on the upcoming new European union with Russia:

    “Editor’s Note: The phrases ‘From the Atlantic to the Urals’, ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’ and ‘From Vancouver to Vladivostok’ are interchangeable in the strategists’ lexicon. In the course of his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, delivered in Oslo in June 1992, Gorbachev said: ‘Our [sic] vision of the European space from the Atlantic to the Urals is not that of a closed system. Since it includes the Soviet Union [sic], which reaches to the shores of the Pacific, it goes beyond nominal geographical boundaries’. Note that Gorbachev, who had been out of office for six months, referred to the Soviet Union, not Russia. In an interview on Moscow Television on 19 November 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze continued speaking as though he was still Soviet Foreign Minister: ‘I think that the idea of a Common European Home, the building of a united Europe, and I would like to underline today, of great Europe, the building of Great Europe, great, united Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, including all our territory, most probably a European-Asian space, this project is inevitable. I am sure that we will come to building a united military space as well. To say more precisely: we will build a united Europe, whose security will be based on the principles of collective security. Precisely, collective security’. These statements by key implementers of the strategy reflect the central strategic objective of asserting ‘irreversible’ Russian/Soviet hegemony over Eurasia, thus establishing the primary geographical component of the intended World Government.” — ‘The Perestroika Deception’, by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

    http://www.spiritoftruth.org/The_Perestroika_Deception.pdf

    …and here’s more on the upcoming “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union…

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140210090314/http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/en/publications/interview/interview0004.html

    …and here’s Vladimir Putin in 2012 pushing the new union with Europe…

    “Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

    That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”‘

    http://valdaiclub.com/politics/39300.html

    When the new “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union materializes, Communist strategists will have achieved two goals, (1) the further isolation of the United States in the world; and (2) the disbanding of NATO.

    ——————————-

    *Approximately 20% of the Marxist front group Islamic [sic] State are Ukraine Ground Forces (UGF) posing as Islamic [sic] State, the UGF mission in Iraq being to cut Iraq’s oil exports–once American ground forces return to Iraq–for the purpose of assisting Russia’s oil based economy, thereby allowing Russia to complete her military modernization program. The Marxist governments of the West and Marxist media* are spinning the reality of what’s taking place in the Ukraine and Iraq, where in the Ukraine the anti-Communist Ukrainian people are waging a war against the Marxist Kiev government and mis-named “Ukrainian separatists” who are really Russian Spetsnaz/Guards Airborne troops assisting the Marxist Kiev government suppress the anti-Communist revolution raging throughout the Ukraine. The revolution could only have occurred thanks to the weakened security apparatus within the Ukraine, where a critical number of Ukraine Ground Forces are currently in Iraq preparing to assist Russia’s oil based economy by destroying Iraq’s oil production.

    With the weakened Marxist security throughout the Ukraine, due to the UGF presence in Iraq, the Ukrainian population destroyed, to date, over 700 statues to the reviled Vladimir Lenin, and other Marxist “heroes”, statues that were supposed to have been destroyed in 1991 if the collapse of the USSR were real and not the strategic ruse it is. Currently approximately 1,400 statues to the butcher of Ukrainian nationalism/Orthodoxy remain standing throughout the Ukraine, rubbing salt into the wounds of every non-Marxist Ukrainian (95% of the population) that is forced to view such monuments to the infamous butcher.

    Russian regular forces are also in the eastern Ukraine (attired in UGF uniforms) fighting the Ukrainian freedom fighters, losing to combat operations approximately 25,000 soldiers, which is why on January 2 Vladimir Putin was ordered by his superiors in the Russian Communist Party to sign a four-year old piece of legislation that allows foreigners who speak Russian to join the Russian military…

    http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-foreigners-serving-in-military/26779601.html

    The following is a discovery I made last month regarding the fake collapse of the USSR…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from 74 years of Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the “collapse” of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists, otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/20-years-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union/100214/

    For more on this discovery see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

    Conclusion:

    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

    **The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848 thought Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly, so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called “War on Terror” is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

  • DaHitman

    How can the Poles be waiting for them when most are over here

  • Animal_Farm

    The idea that Russia is thinking of invading Poland is abject nonsense – hysteria peddled by Western governments bent on demonising Russia in order to justify their militaries own Eastward expansion. And George Orwell would recognize these hate pieces which regularly appear in the Western media for the absurd and crude propaganda that they are.

    • Paul the Pole

      I would say that you’re right – it’s nonsense.

      But I remember that just 1,5 year ago I called a nonsense possibility of Russia invading Ukraine …

  • ClausewitzTheMunificent

    Yes, those glorious Nordic armies of Western Europe must smash the Putinist (Bolshevik?) threat to civilisation! In memory of the Waffen-SS, let the Balts once more look to the Germans for leadership in genocide and murder: they ran out of Jews, but still enough Russians left I suppose. Wonderful, wonderful toasts and speeches all round. Freedom our Goal, Victory the Watchword! Freiheit das Ziel, Sieg das Panier!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn0GpUgYOEs

    I mean really what planet are these people on? Not just retarded and provocative, but outright insane. Who wants to relive the 2nd world war with nuclear weapons? I certainly don’t. But I guess Putin not being happy about a violent US and EU sponsored coup in Ukraine and the murder of 6-10,000 ethnic Russian civilians in Ukraine is a such an existential threat to the survival of the “West” that nuclear apocalypse is warranted. Sheesh.

  • sidor

    The poor Poles are waiting invain. They won’t find a single Russian who would be interested in their God blessed country. Good luck in milking EU.

  • justsomeone

    I wasn’t against Russia taking back Crimea, but I would be very much against it conquering Estonia, Latvia, etc and horrified if it took Poland, though I think it highly unlikely.
    Having an army on alert and signalling we’re willing to go for war over this means we probably won’t need to. Same goes for Iran, whose nuclear program is more dangerous to us than Russia invading Poland would be. But Russia is a convenient opponent. Iran is Islamic and that apparently makes all the difference these days.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Poland is more likely to appear at the gates of St Petersburg than any Russian incursion of NATO. Civilisation won in 1991 ,now we wait for the last generation of KGB and stasi to retire and die off. The tipping point is around 2030.

  • Lawrence James

    This is an alarming article. The writer has uncritically swallowed the Russophobia peddled by NATO bureaucrats and their uniformed allies. This is understandable, for, without the Russian bogey, there is no reason for their existence. So long as it can hoodwink the public into imagining that the Russian bear is about to pounce, NATO justifies itself. Thus, a multinational army musters in Poland and pugnacious American officers make aggressive noises: ‘ we don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do’.
    Two such armies gathered in the same region in 1812 and 1941, led by Napoleon and Hitler. They invaded Russia using the pretext that they intended to bring its rulers to heel, were repelled and then the Russians counter-attacked. Czar Alexander I rode into Paris and Stalin strolled across Frederick the Great’s parade ground at Potsdam. These were the only occasions when Russia invaded Europe.
    One does not expect the brass hats, their minds focused on the next war, to even consider historical precedents, but we should. One might add, how are British interests served by all this ? Is the Ukraine really worth the bones of a singe British soldier ?

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      “These were the only occasions Russia invaded Europe”! Except during the Five wars with Sweden/Denmark, six wars with the Ottoman Empire, four wars with Poland ,two with the Golden Horde, three with Lithuania, two with the Don Cossacks, four invasions during the Napoleonic Wars, the War of the Austrian succession in 1740, the Great Northern war in 1700, and the invasions of Prussia and Austria in WW1.
      I make that 29 other occasions , leaving out various attacks in the Caucasus that are part of Europe too.
      Oh and the Russo-Finnish war in 1940.

      • Lawrence James

        Oh dear ! Some over-simplification here, verging on distortion. The war against the Ottomans in the 18th century were wars of liberation in which Russia and Austria reversed earlier Turkish conquests. Russian intervention in the 18th Century European conflicts was as part of coalitions: you could not say that Britain invaded Europe when George II’s forces fought alongside the Prussians. Likewise, during the Napoleonic wars Russia
        contributed forces to Allied armies. Peter the Great’s wars were against Scandinavian incursions which demanded that Russia established a strong defensive position on the Baltic.

        As for the Golden Horde, this as an Asiatic invasion army and the Caucasus has never been a part of Europe: as Metternich once joked Asia begins in the eastern suburbs of Vienna.
        Russia has always insisted upon stable and unthreatening neighbouring nations and a balance of power within Europe; Only in 1945 did it decide to annex eastern European states to create a glacis. We should be grateful for Russia’s contribution to European security be expelling the Turks and helping to bring about the defeat of Hitler and Napoleon.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          The definition of an invasion is when military combatants from one geopolitical entity enter by unwelcome force into another such entity. I have described 30 occasions since 1480 when Russians have invaded European nations.
          The Caucasus are European. They are the site of Europe’s highest mountain. Georgia ,Armenia Azerbaijan etc enter the Eurovision song contest, European football competitions and European Athletics championships. They speak Indo-European languages and are culturally as European as You and I.
          You seek to pretend Russia is not an aggressor ,but a serial counter-offensive maker. I agree Russia is preoccupied with fear of invasion and uber defensive, but their history is one of warlike aggression. Their future however is a broken ,ungovernable, ramshackle and obscure former Empire.

          • Lawrence James

            Good to end on a comic note: a country’s participation in a song contest, playing soccer and pole-jumping does not define its geographical and political place in world. If say Zimbabwe sent a chanteuse to sing in the Eurovision Sing Contest, despatched a football team to play in the European Cup, or fielded a team of hurdlers a European Athletics competition will it somehow be transformed into a European state ? By the way, many Zimbabweans speak English.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The official extent of Europe is to the watersheds of the Urals and Caucasus and the shores of the Black Sea and the Caspian.

          • Richard N

            Yeah, right.

            And the United States is not – by far – the biggest aggressor in the world, invading and bombing whatever countries it fancies, and leaving ruin and chaos in its wake.

            For Americans to charge any other country with being ‘aggressors’ is just ludicrous!

          • Rodion

            Those are not usual aggressions, but mandatory measures for the installation of democracy. And the bombs are not there to kill, (even if there are millions of victims), it is just collateral damage in the name of installing “democracy”. Even if in every case, no democracy has not been established. It doesn’t matter what the result come or what eventually happened, but matters only what they WANTED to do. Screwed up? So there is another country where you can try again.. and again.. Especially if it is possible to obtain profit from the arms trade (sometimes with both sides of the conflict), and even to seize profitable businesses from the fields of natural resources or to sever economic ties to weaken European Corporation of unfair competition (and of course no one ever heard about the use of state machine intelligence for surveillance, not only for the leaders of the allied countries, but also for economic secrets in different countries, causing billions in damages)

          • Rodion it’s good to see you around, I hope you are having a good summer.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So you agree that Britain invaded Yugoslavia and Libya?!?!

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            When?

          • Mr B J Mann

            When?

            “when military combatants from one geopolitical entity enter by unwelcome force into another such entity.”

            As you “have described”:

            Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves -> Lawrence James • a day ago

            “The definition of an invasion is………”

          • zappata

            “… culturally as European as You and I…”
            Have you ever been to Azerbaijan?!

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Azerbaijan was the World’s first Muslim democracy and first Secular Muslim state, offering equal rights to women. It was also the first to have opera, universities ( for both sexes) and theatre……in a culturally European manner.
            Have you been there?

          • zappata

            Actually,yes,for an oil conference and I have colleagues who have done business out there.I’m in no hurry to go back.
            I respectfully suggest you’ve been no closer than Wikipedia.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            But you seek to imply that all of the former Warsaw Pact t is not really Europe based on a visit to Azerbaijan , that you found a bit too eastern.

        • Rodion

          Following the logic of Russophobes in all cases, when Russia fought shoulder to shoulder with other European countries as you just mentioned in “in which Russia and Austria reversed earlier Turkish conquests.” anyway Austria in this case the liberator and hero, and Russia in any case, the aggressor and the oppressor. Just by definition. And poor Hitler suffered from Russian aggression.
          And in the WWI there once happened reckless Russian victim (about half a million KIA soldiers) at the request of the allies. In a totally unprepared stupid offensive in Brusilovsky breakthrough allowed by such huge sacrifice to war for the sake of victory to divert huge forces of Germany and allowed France to defend Paris. And in gratitude for the help and sacrifice, Russia received looting for several years until 1922 from different expeditionary corps – Japanese, Czech, American, etc, which stole the trains full of different natural resources from the territory of Russia at the same time killing thousands of local people patriots

      • AJH1968

        That is one of the most cogent arguments put forward. Polish units also fought side by side with us during the battle of Britain and numerous other campaigns. With regards to their intellectual prowess I am reminded of Chopin, Madam Curie and numerous others. Bye the bye you are wrong about opera.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Where did I mention opera?

      • zappata

        You do realise that the Golden Horde were the Mongols…and that their invasion of Russia (the Kievan Rus’ as was) resulted in half the population perishing and all but two of the Rus cities being burned to the ground?We should be thankful to Ivan the Terrible for starting the re-conquest of the land controlled by the Khanates of the Horde;otherwise we might well be facing an Islamic Russia today.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          I didn’t say the Golden Horde were pussycats, I merely cited Russia’s wars with them since 1480 as being examples of Russia invading European territories.

          • zappata

            European territories the Horde occupied by force when they arrived from Cental Asia in 13th Century.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            I am citing Ruusian wars since 1480. Of what relevance are population movements form the 1200s?

    • Wessex Man

      You are doing just what the Eurocrats want you to do, blaming NATO, it was the machinations of of the European Union lead by our very own unelected Cath Ashton peddling revolution on the streets of Keiv that lead to the fall of an elected, admittedly, corrupt government that caused the Russian Bear to roar and take back Crimea.

      It’s just as likely to be the modern European Empire as the last President, Barroso called it that will cause a world war. Anyone who watched the last opening of the European ‘Parliament’ with the Black shirted European Soldiers raising the European Flag to the sound of Ode to Joy must surely have felt a shudder of apprehension just as I did.

      It was NATO in the shape of the UK, USA and Canada that kept the peace in Europe for forty years, it will be the EU that brings Europe to ruin in far less time.

    • Dawid Brol

      In 1938, the Brits also said, “Is the Czechoslovakia really worth the bones of a singe British soldier? In 1939, the Brits also said, “Is the Poland really worth the bones of a singe British soldier? In 1941 they have no choice. remember that the Russians / Soviets invaded Poland in 1920 when they wanted to bring revolutions to the west, and in 17 September 1939 as Hitler’s most faithful ally. Next then they were occupied Baltic republics, and attacked the Finland. Poland attacked Russia twice. Once in the mid-sixteenth century. For the second time in the early seventeenth century, but then were wild times (how aggressive wars led then united kingdom ??) Russia attacked Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States (vassals Polish) since the seventeenth century, 27 times. Until it was occupied the entire territory. Then they began to destroy the Polish population, First the nobility, then the middle class and intelligence. the effects of suffering to this day. People in Poland and the Baltic republics prefer to die and set fire to the world, than survive another soviet occupation. This so-called “Ruski Mir”

  • Aged Warrior

    NATO are complete idiots. They run on Western Media Propaganda & USA psychopathic machismo. They will probably turn on their own unarmed populations, women & children & call it a Civil War & enforce Martial Law. Anything to sell some weapons for the Corporate Military Industrial taxpayer thieves & criminals.

  • furQ

    @richard young Poland is a mono culture as you say, in that it is racist as does not welcome any foreigners, unlike britain which took 700,000 worthless polish builders into its multicultural society. Poland has no strategic value to Russia, and its migrants are a drain on the wages of western europeans.

    As for invasion, you are living up to the stereotype of the dumb pollack. Go ahead and invite the yanks into your country, and they will never, not ever leave, just ask germany.

    NB Poland once invaded and conquered the Ukraine

  • David S

    “Russian defence spending has increased to 4 per cent of GDP. Nato members are still striving for 2 per cent.”.
    Nato’s combined GDP is $37 trillion, Russia’s is just over $2 trillion. So Nato spends at least 9 times as much on defence as Russia. This is similar to the ratio between the military spending of the UK and that of Norway, or the US’s and France’s.
    The fact that Russia can even think about challenging NATO anywhere on the planet is evidence that NATO is massively inefficient.

  • KarenTGreen

    next few days your life success days….spectator…. < Find Here

  • Mr B J Mann

    “‘Nato does not seek confrontation with Russia,’ said the secretary general. ‘We seek and strive for a more cooperative relationship, but the precondition for that is Russia respecting the borders of its neighbours, and the fundamental rules which have been so important for peace and stability in Europe for many years. For me, there is no contradiction between defence and dialogue. Actually, I believe that strong defence — firm policies, predictability — is important as a foundation for political dialogue. Nato will continue to strive for dialogue and cooperation, but that cannot be based on weakness or uncertainty. It has to be certain that we are able to defend and protect all our allies.”

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    ‘Nato does not seek confrontation with’ Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria……..

    ‘We seek and strive for a more cooperative relationship, but the precondition for that is’ the EU ‘respecting the borders of its neighbours, and the fundamental rules which have been so important for peace and stability in Europe for many years. For me, there is no contradiction between defence and dialogue. Actually, I believe that strong defence — firm policies, predictability — is important as a foundation for political dialogue.’

    Russia ‘will continue to strive for dialogue and cooperation, but that cannot be based on weakness or uncertainty. It has to be certain that we are able to defend and protect all our allies.’

    Next stop WWIII

  • Richard N

    Breedlove is a Neocon half-wit. Even Merkel’s bunch have dismissed him, effectively, as a propagandist who endlessly pumps out ludicrous lies about large numbers of Russian personnel and equipment supposedly being in Ukraine, which no European intelligence agency can find any evidence of – at all.

    The US and its EU side-kicks can overthrow an elected government in Ukraine in pursuit of their land grab of that country, and that’s not ‘aggression’ – but when Russia responds (after that event) to that illegal US-sponsored coup, it’s ‘aggression’.

    Sad to see the Spectator joining the rest of the neocon-controlled media in peddling neocon lies.

  • Richard N

    Strange that Europe is supposedly (according to this propaganda article) waking up to the ‘danger’ of Russian ‘aggression’ – but is filling its own countries up with countless millions of Islamic immigrants, who represent not only a potentially massive threat to European security in the short-term – but an absolute guarantee through massively out-breeding Europeans that European civilisation will be but a memory within just a number of decades from now.

    Look forward to the joys of Sharia Law a few decades hence, Europeans – brought to you courtesy of the EU crooks, who organized this massive immigration of Islamic people into all European countries, thinking that by this means, they could destroy Europeans’ sense of national identity, and thereby remove that threat to the anti-democratic EU.

    The enemy is within, in vast numbers – and that enemy cannot be stopped by tanks or fighter aircraft.

    • Rodion

      “that enemy cannot be stopped by tanks or fighter aircraft.” – But it is very easy to divert attention from the enemy if on purpose to point in quite another direction-to a non-existent enemy. As if to shout to the rescue team about the fire alarm in the city, when in fact the city is suffering from flooding and water disaster cataclysm.

  • Precambrian

    Putin will not be coming; no superpower wants to fight another superpower – the presence of nuclear weapons makes such unthinkable.

    But the press get useful click-bait out of speculating on the sabre-rattling.

  • John P Hughes

    There is a useful buffer-state called Belarus between Poland and Russia, Its leader has a reputation for authoritarian attitudes and is close to Putin; but it does not appear that he would upset his population by letting Putin put troops into their country to threaten Poland. Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, while irritating (certainly to Denmark which has to put up with Russian aircraft based there infringing its airspace every week), is surrounded by NATO countries and is more of a hostage than a launching-pad for offensive action. It is Latvia and most of all Estonia with their direct borders with Russia that are under some threat. They both have Russian minorities. (Lithuania by contrast doesn’t really have one, and is like Poland ethnically stable.)
    Whatever happens to Eastern Ukraine, it should be remembered that a large part of Ukraine was Polish or Romanian before 1939, and quite a large part was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire of happy memory until 1918. There are huge areas of Western Ukraine which were incorporated into the USSR by Stalin but which are culturally, architecturally and geomorphologically part of Central Europe, notably the wonderful Carpathian Mountains and the remarkable city of Czernowitz.
    Russia is (thanks to Yeltsin and the events of 1991) a long way east.

  • Murf

    Poland is the Germany of the new Cold War.
    I am glade NATO is finally recognizing that fact and conducting them selves accordingly.
    Now the US needs to permanently station an Armored Brigade in Poland to insure the point is made;Stay the heck out Russia!

  • Dogsnob

    Why are the Poles waiting for Putin in Wrexham?

  • Oh, balderdash!

  • sidor

    ===If Putin comes, the Poles are waiting===

    Poland is the larger recipient from the EU budget. And 1 mln of Polish migrants are now in the UK. Why on Earth would Putin, or any other Russian leader, agree to pay these huge billions from the Russian budget to the Polish black hole and accommodate 1 mln Poles?

    So, let them keep waiting. The Poles were always romantic about their own importance.

  • Ron

    Great credit if NATO is working. The Slavic nations know more than most the cost of the Russian Bear. We meanwhile are taking more the position of France in WW2.

    • sidor

      Are you talking about the Serbian nation who the German Airforce bombed in 1999, third time within one century? About the position of France you are correct: the idea of United Europe based on the union between France and Germany was pronounced by marshal Petain in 1940.

  • Karayiannis Anteas

    This article is a proof of polish expanshonism and the shire proof also exist in the 3rd collum of diplomats in the regions of Brest and Grondo! if i was Lukashenko i would have chacked them out without hesitations! And do not try to sell me the stupility of western democracy because is a comlete jock look EU and the Nato auntourange…..As for the polish culture and language lets not forget their slavic origins to RUSSIA..concerning the communist ragime the first they have to complain are the russian them selfs and then any others us such 🙂 ++A

Close