Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov dismissed a report on Monday that purported to show Russia was getting ready for an “open attack” on NATO, calling it nothing more than a “hoax.”
The German newspaper BILD reported on Sunday that it had examined a confidential document from the German Defense Ministry that offered a month-by-month breakdown of a potential “path to conflict” between Russia and the West.
According to the German newspaper, the documents show that Germany’s military is preparing for a possible Russian “hybrid” attack in Eastern Europe.
The leaked document shows several alarming scenarios, including the deployment of an additional 200,000 Russian troops as part of the “Alliance Defense 2025,” which could start as early as February. According to the outlet, this deployment might be brought on by a cutoff in Western financial assistance to Ukraine, opening the door for a major Russian offensive in the upcoming spring.
It further stated that the documents cover the potential for Russia to start a war in the Baltic states in July.
This may entail aggressive cyberattacks and capitalizing on the unhappiness of Russian nationals residing in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. According to the report, Russia may hold a large-scale military drill known as “Zapad 2024” in western Russia and Belarus by September that would involve about 50,000 troops.
Moving troops and mid-range missiles to Kaliningrad, a small Russian territory sandwiched between NATO members Poland and Lithuania, maybe a key component of this strategy. According to the report, which cited the documents, the plan might include a propaganda campaign aimed at giving the impression that a NATO attack is imminent to capture the Suwalki Gap, a vital route connecting Belarus and Kaliningrad.
By year’s end, Russia might exploit the US presidential transition period to stir up trouble in the Suwalki Gap region. Propaganda can be used to incite riots or border conflicts. The scenario recommends sending 30,000 German troops to Belarus to defend against an estimated 70,000 Russian forces. It also stated that NATO might step in by May 2025 to thwart additional Russian advances, which might result in direct fighting between Western and Russian forces.
“I wouldn’t even comment on this report by Bild,” Peskov said in response to questions from journalists on the report on Monday.
He was quoted by Russia Today as saying, “Recently, this outlet also doesn’t shy away from publishing various hoaxes.“
The report claims that earlier in the day, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, referred to it as “last year’s powerful zodiac forecast.” The report further stated that she implied the German Foreign Ministry, under the leadership of Annalena Baerbock, had assisted the Bundeswehr in developing such a scenario.
Over half a million Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which broke out in February 2022. Carl-Oskar Bohlin, Sweden’s minister of civil defense, and Micael Bydén, the country’s military chief, have recently voiced concerns about the likelihood of war in Sweden, highlighting the necessity of all-encompassing readiness.
The German Defense Ministry admitted to BILD that taking into account a variety of possible scenarios—even improbable ones—is a standard component of military operations and training, even though it would not comment on any particular ones.
- Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov dismisses a report suggesting Russia is preparing for an “open attack” on NATO.
- German newspaper BILD cites a confidential document from the German Defense Ministry detailing a potential “path to conflict” between Russia and the West.
- The report suggests Germany’s military is preparing for a possible Russian “hybrid” attack in Eastern Europe.
- The leaked document includes scenarios such as the deployment of an additional 200,000 Russian troops as part of the “Alliance Defense 2025,” possibly triggered by a cutoff in Western financial assistance to Ukraine.
- The report also suggests Russia may start a war in the Baltic states in July, possibly involving cyberattacks and exploiting Russian nationals’ unhappiness in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
- The report suggests sending 30,000 German troops to Belarus to defend against an estimated 70,000 Russian forces.
- The German Defense Ministry admits to considering a variety of possible scenarios as a standard component of military operations and training.