Due to the closure of the Kaliningrad transit, there was a threat of a new theater of military operations
If Russia decides to attack Lithuania, the consequences for the Kremlin will be dire. Photo: collage “Today”
A scandal erupted between Moscow and Vilnius over a ban on the transit of Russian goods through Lithuania. The Russian Federation, brandishing weapons, began to threaten the entire population of Lithuania. The Segodnya website found out whether Lithuania is ready to offer military resistance to Russia in the event of an invasion, whether NATO will stand up for the Baltic country, and how this war will end for Putin.
On June 18, Lithuania announced to Russia that it would ban rail transit of Russian goods subject to EU sanctions through the territory of the country between the Kaliningrad region and the main territory of the Russian Federation. And on Wednesday, June 22, trucking was also banned.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry explained this decision by the fact that it received explanations from the European Commission, according to which, even if sanctioned goods and cargoes go from one part of Russia to another, but through the territory of the EU, their transportation should be prohibited.
“Passengers and goods that are not subject to the EU sanctions regime continue to be transported through the territory of Lithuania to and from the Kaliningrad region. Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual or additional restrictions on this transit. Lithuania is consistently implementing EU sanctions”– reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Kremlin called the actions of Lithuania provocative and even hostile, and immediately threatened the consequences, which “all the inhabitants of Lithuania will feel on themselves.” Simultaneously with the threats, Russia began to traditionally brandish weapons by organizing military exercises in the Kaliningrad region, thereby provoking the emergence of a new theater of operations (theatre of military operations – Ed.).
Nikolai Patrushev threatened Lithuania with retaliatory measures. Photo: collage “Today”
Will Lithuania be able to resist Russia
Since 2015, Lithuania, like other Baltic countries, has begun to actively increase its military budget. The country invests about one billion dollars a year in new weapons and training of soldiers, and this figure is constantly growing.
The number of military personnel is also increasing. In the same 2015, Vilnius decided to revive the conscription service. Young people from 18 to 23 years old are drafted into the army, and the term of service is nine months. According to the Military Balance 2022 guide from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), this decision made it possible to increase the size of the army to 23,000 people. In addition, up to 90 thousand people are in the reserve.
The number of the Lithuanian army is 23,000 soldiers. In addition, up to 90,000 people are in the reserve. Photo: DELFI
Despite the fact that the Lithuanian army does not have fighters, bombers, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems in service, over the past seven years Lithuania has seriously reformed its armed forces and created a compact and highly mobile army. The Lithuanian military moves in modern German armored infantry vehicles Boxer (in Lithuania they are called Vilkas, “Wolf”), equipped with anti-tank missiles, machine guns and modern guidance systems.
In total, the Lithuanian army has about 80 such vehicles. But after the start of the war in Ukraine, Vilnius ordered another 120 units from the FRG. In terms of driving characteristics, Vilkas are superior to Russian armored vehicles: they are faster, more maneuverable and autonomous, and they are also more tied to command control, which helps to carry out coordinated and fast attacks.
Note that according to research, fighting in the city is the most dangerous for enemy manpower. That is why the presence of modern maneuverable equipment, such as Vilkas, can play a decisive role even when faced with an enemy that is superior in strength and numbers.
The Lithuanian army has 80 Vilkas infantry armored vehicles. Photo: waronline.org
In addition to armored vehicles, the German PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery mounts are again guarding the state. When using modern types of GPS-guided projectiles, the “self-propelled gun” can accurately fire up to 12 projectiles per minute, coordinating work on counter-battery radars. The Lithuanian army has 16 howitzers of this type.
However, even though Lithuania’s technical armament is superior to the bulk of Russian equipment, its quantity will not be enough to resist the Russian Federation. Therefore, back in 2017, a new national strategy was adopted, which focuses on the maximum fusion of the armed forces of Lithuania and NATO.
The PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery mount can fire up to 12 rounds per minute. Photo: novostivl
NATO comes to the rescue
Lithuania has been a member of NATO since 2004. At the beginning of 2022, more than 1.5 thousand soldiers of the alliance were stationed in the country, mainly from Germany and the Netherlands. Air patrols are carried out by two detachments of fighters from Denmark and Portugal, four F-16AMs each.
Russia’s attempts to stir up the degree of tension with the help of threats to Lithuania were quickly cooled in the United States. State Department Representative Ned Price stated that America is ready to support Lithuania in the event of Russian military aggression.
According to Price, the United States adheres to the fifth article of the North Atlantic alliance, which states that an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all. The United States also approved the economic measures taken against the aggressor country.
Ned Price: “An attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all.” Photo: US Department of State
NATO planes will cover all of Russia to Moscow
Military expert Oleg Zhdanov believes that if Russia decided to attack Lithuania, the consequences for the Kremlin would be dire.
“The NATO alliance would immediately join the war. The Germans would be the first to enter the battle, since there is a tank battalion of the FRG in Lithuania. And now Lithuania is asking to increase it to the size of a brigade”– says “Today” Zhdanov.
The expert also noted that in neighboring Estonia, along the border, there is a battalion of US soldiers.
“And in Latvia, the NATO aviation wing. If the planes take off, they will cover the whole of Russia up to Moscow. Putin understands this, he is not a suicide. Therefore, he will not start a war with Lithuania,” Zhdanov summed up.
Oleg Zhdanov: “NATO planes will cover all of Russia up to Moscow.” Photo: collage “Today”
Earlier, the Segodnya website reported that Lithuania had stopped importing electricity from Russia since May 22.
We also wrote that Lithuania was the first among the EU countries to refuse Russian gas.