NATO in the Baltics, Simulating War With Russia

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


NATO is developing new large-scale manoeuvres at the borders of Russia, and today they entered an active phase. The exercise “Silver Arrow” will pass through the Baltics. Besides local military, the Americans and British also participate in it. Nobody hides that the potential opponent is Russia.

At the Adazi landfill, only 50 kilometres from Riga, there is simulation of a military conflict with Russia. The Silver Arrow exercise entered an active phase.

The manoeuvres involve soldiers from eight countries — Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, USA, Canada, Britain, and Belgium, Romania and even Albania — more than 3,000 bayonets. The scenario is simple: the enemy is coming to Riga from the North. The task of the NATO forces is to hold it, to repel the first attack, wait for reinforcements, and then counterattack in order to drive the enemy back to the Northern Bank of the river Gauja.

The annual “Silver arrow” exercise only two years ago was a small local event. But thanks to the constant multi-million dollar injections in the military budget, the manoeuvres have reached the international level. All sorts of land forces with air support are taking part.


According to the British analyst firm IHS Markit, the Baltic countries are world leaders on rates of increase in military budgets. For example, in 2014, the Baltic States spent one billion euros per year on the army. The budget in 2017 will already be under 2 billion. Simply put, each of the three countries in the shortest time possible got for itself one more additional army.

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A sharp increase in military spending has already caused complications in the Latvian economy, and side effects in medicine. Doctors took to the streets to protest. This year it was promised to increase salaries but the money went to the army. Teachers salaries are generally cut by 10%. An actual joke in the local media is: with such a quality of medicine and education, as it is now, only ill fools will serve there. In order to win, there won’t even be a need for shells.


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