This is precisely why Russia can claim such things as the ability and need to invade Europe as far as Poland within 30 minutes before NATO planes could even take off.
As Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria on terrorist targets, launching strategic bombers, and holding operability tests every several weeks, the US has started to “beat the alarm” over the country’s defense capabilities, according to Der Spiegel.
United States Army in Europe Commanding General Ben Hodges said that he has “strong concerns” over the Russian air defense systems and anti-ship missile complexes which can deny access to larges swaths of areas. He pointed out that in case of conflict, Russia could create a defense zone over the Black Sea, keeping NATO away from Russia.
By 2020, Russia’s ground forces will be 70 percent upgraded, standing at only 30% now.
According to Kashin, Russia’s army has become more powerful than all the European armies combined. However, he stressed, the competition with Washington is still tough for Moscow, and it has prompted Russia to focus on the development of nuclear deterrence systems.
This pushes NATO officials to take steps aimed at deterrence, as many of them claim that Russia’s military growth threatens their security. For instance, Lithuanian ambassador to NATO Indulis Berzinsh claimed that alliance should be ready to combat Russia in the Baltics.
Full article: Military Reforms Bolster Russian Army to ‘Unprecedented Levels’ (Sputnik News)