Russia to build new military bases in the west in response to NATO expansion

86 days have passed since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Despite this, there is no hope of peace so far. Meanwhile, Russia’s tension has increased with Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Russia has announced that it will establish more military bases in the western region to protect Moscow.

The new bases of the Russian army will increase the threat not only to Ukraine, but also to NATO member countries Latvia and Estonia in the Baltic Sea. Russia also attacked Ukraine due to this expansionist attitude of NATO.

Russia will establish 12 new military bases in the west of the country in response to Sweden and Finland applying for NATO membership.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made the announcement on Friday, saying that the new bases would be in place “by the end of the year”.

He said “12 military bases and units will be deployed in the Western Military District”, telling senior ministry and army officials that there was a “growth of military threats on Russia’s borders”, blaming NATO and the United States.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reports that Moscow is taking “adequate countermeasures” in response to those perceived “military threats” in the west.

This week Finland and Sweden both formally applied for NATO membership, a move that was unthinkable before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the Western defense alliance NATO on May 18, renouncing their longtime neutrality status amid growing security concerns prompted by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin said on May 16 that Swedish and Finnish NATO membership didn’t pose a threat to Russia, but cautioned that Moscow would respond if the alliance boosted military infrastructure in the two countries.

The processing of the two Nordic countries’ applications is expected to move quickly despite opposition from NATO member Turkey.

U.S. President Joe Biden has voiced strong backing for both NATO applications as he met with the leaders of the two countries at the White House on May 19, calling them two “great democracies” and “highly capable partners.”

NATO is comprised of 30 countries, of which the US, UK, France, Canada and Germany appear to be active. In some cases, Belgium and Sweden have also been seen carrying out missions in aid of NATO.

Apart from this, the rest of the countries are also completely dependent on the military help of these active countries. These countries have invested very little in their security. But, Russia’s invasion has forced NATO to rethink its strategy and make member countries think to increase their strength.

Russia may also feel threatened from the north by Finland-Sweden becoming a member of NATO. Apart from this, Russia’s main city and economic capital St. Petersburg can also be unsafe. Finland is a country situated on the banks of the Baltic Sea.

In such a situation, if NATO wants, it can encircle Russia by creating a blockade between Estonia and Finland. Estonia is already a member of NATO. Due to this, the movement of Russia across the Baltic Sea may be affected. Not only this, Russia’s maritime trade may also come to a standstill. This is the reason why Russia does not want NATO to approach its northern border.

The Putin administration is at loggerheads with his western rivals over Russia’s relations with Ukraine. Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Donbas and called on Ukraine to lay down its weapons early on Thursday morning, but a war against Ukraine has already begun. As NATO allies, the US, UK, and other NATO countries have warned Russia’s president against following the same expansionist policies that upset the region in 2014.

Russia has around 900,000 active military personnel. Approximately 200,000 of them were on duty at the Ukrainian border ahead of the invasion. Seventy-four warships and 51 submarines are in the Russian navy, and nearly 6,000 artillery pieces are in the army. Approximately 20,000 armored fighting vehicles and 13,300 tanks are also available to the Russian military. Over 1,300 aircraft and 500 helicopters comprise the Russian air force.

More than 500 missile launchers on Russian soil are also capable of long-range warfare. Russia’s president boasted Wednesday about its hypersonic missiles, which travel at speeds above Mach 5.

There are currently no methods for stopping or intercepting them. There are even some that travel at high speeds. The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile, for example, is supposedly capable of reaching more than 7,600mph, or Mach 10.

The Russian army is vastly more significant than the Ukrainian army. A fifth of Russia’s military personnel serves in Ukraine. The Ukrainian navy is without submarines and owns just two warships, so Russia’s forces at sea far outnumber Ukraine’s. Approximately 2,100 tanks, 2,870 armoured fighting vehicles and 2,000 pieces of artillery are deployed on land by the Ukrainian army.

NATO and Russia;Who will Win?

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) conducted research in 2019 that concluded British forces would be “hugely outgunned” if they encountered Russia across eastern Europe.

The RUSI found that the British Army and its Nato allies are critically short of artillery and ammunition, meaning that they will struggle to maintain a credible defence position if the Russians decide to launch an all-out offensive.

RUSI warns that the UK is at risk of being dominated by powers at the bottom of the escalation ladder, forces that might lead to an escalation.

However, the UK would not need to face off against Russia alone. Aleksandr Golts, a Russian military analyst for Deutsche Welle, says that the US has an overwhelming advantage in conventional forces over Russia.

Felgenhauer acknowledged that the US has a military advantage, but he cautioned that open warfare is more than each side can offer.

It would be like predicting the result of a soccer game, he explained, adding: “Actually, Brazil should beat Americans in soccer, but I’ve seen Americans beat Brazil at the Confederations Cup in South Africa. Nobody knows the result until it occurs.”.

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