NATO is said to be preparing a military force of up to 300,000 personnel, capable of being deployed within just two months, in response to growing tensions between the West and Russia.
Secretary General of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, said the allied nations are putting hundreds of thousands of troops in a state of high alert in an effort to deter a mounting threat from Moscow.
While Nato cut its defence budget and military investment since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has been bolstering its military capabilities, holding parades involving more than 100,000 troops each year.
Mr Stoltenberg said: “We have seen Russia being much more active in many different ways.
“We have seen a more assertive Russia implementing a substantial military build-up over many years; tripling defence spending since 2000 in real terms; developing new military capabilities; exercising their forces and using military force against neighbours.”
He told the Times: “We have also seen Russia using propaganda in Europe among Nato allies and that is exactly the reason why Nato is responding. We are responding with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.”
Adam Thomson, the outgoing permanent representative to Nato, estimates that at present, it would take the military alliance 180 days to deploy a force of 300,000, and that speeding up this rate is of top importance.
In a TV advert a few weeks ago, Putin advised citizens to prepare themselves with gas masks and find out the location of their nearest bomb shelters.
The Russian president also sparked concern when he called for Russian nationals to return home for their own safety.
Full article: Nato puts 300,000 troops on ‘HIGH ALERT’ amid fears of all out confrontation with Russia (Express)