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The superiority of the Russian army

In the short term Russia could mobilize 150 thousand and quickly capture a large part of the Baltic.

"It is obvious that they are the first high-intensity work out methods of regular war, full-scale hostilities," - says Fredrik Westerlund, a military analyst at the Swedish Institute for Defense Studies.

Aftonbladet has studied military capabilities of all states in the Baltic region.

Compared with Russia NATO - a military dwarf. In numbers, this comparison seems almost ridiculous. Last year, Russia has allocated for military purposes 66 billion dollars, which is much less than, for example, the total military budget of the United Kingdom (55 billion) and France (51 billion).

USA (598 billion) and the EU (240 billion) together spent almost 13 times more Russian.

But numbers do not tell the whole story.

In the eastern part of the Baltic region, Russia's potential is much greater than the strength of all opponents, including NATO.
A report submitted earlier this year, the American Institute Rand analytical method showed war game might look like Russian attack on the Baltic. Result for the NATO disaster.

Russian offensive forces would enter the capital of Estonia and Latvia for 60 hours and lightly armed NATO units will not be able to stop them. NATO command itself has made similar findings, and they formed the basis of recently promulgated the decision to place in the Baltic States and Poland four multinational battalion.

"From a military point of view, it is clear that by themselves these battalions will not have any military offensive potential, they are too small. Rather, the goal is to strengthen the link with the Baltic States ", - says the analyst Fredrik Westerlund (Fredrik Westerlund).

Putin - a head start of several years

In general, NATO with the US is much stronger than Russia. But regionally and with the resources that are available at present, the parties change their roles.
"We need to mobilize and expand the Western powers, and this takes time. During this time, Russia will have time to grab a few countries ", - said Robert Dalsho (Robert Dalsjö), a security analyst at the Institute for Defense Studies.

According to him, Putin compared the West has a handicap of five to eight years. Even though many countries now emit more on defense funds, and NATO begins to move resources to the east, just to catch up with Russia will not work.

"As long as the West does not regain the ability to be a counterbalance to Russia's military potential in Eastern Europe, we remain in great danger," - says Robert Dalsho.

Russia can win a short war in the Baltic, but long - is unlikely, unless the use nuclear weapons.

"It is a realistic scenario: Russia captures, for example, the Baltic states and declares:" Now it's ours, and we will defend itself with nuclear weapons. You dare to check? ""

Great war

Currently Fredrik Westerlund explores the operational forces of the Russian army. According to him, 25 battalions in the war game Rand two days conquered Estonia and Latvia - is quite a realistic assessment of Russia's potential.

"Russia is conducting exercises with the forces consisting of about 150 thousand soldiers, and she has a reason to apply them in practice, divided into three or four army."

In general, it is a portrait of a country that in recent years has significantly strengthened its army.

"If you look at how they expand the structure of the armed forces and what the teaching is carried out, and at the same time pay attention to the way they paint a picture of the threats, it becomes obvious that primarily practiced methods of high-intensity regular war", - says Fredrik Westerlund.

He gives a few examples:

- Russia creates new armies and army corps, destined to battle in a larger structure.

- Russia has increased the number of military units and expanded their personnel.

- Before there was a serious shortage of army personnel, so that in 100 units on paper had only 70 in practice. Now the army has improved staffing, and more units become available to perform combat missions.

- Russia produces more missiles with long range, which is confirmed and equipment corvette "Bayan", recently entered into the Baltic Sea.

- Russia has increased its arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, especially in the western parts of the country.

Worse than on paper

Other countries of the Baltic region is actually weaker than considered according to official figures. This was said by all the experts with whom talked to Aftonbladet. In a short time Sweden is able to collect three combat-ready battalion, Finland - nine or ten.

In theory, Sweden can also throw in eight to ten battalions, that is, 13-14 thousand soldiers. But Major-General retired Karlis Neretniks (Karlis Neretnieks), head of the Swedish Military Academy, stresses that such forces exist only on paper.

"The staff is not coordinated, many of these soldiers - former reservists who served eight or ten years ago. Do they need to join the battle and fight effectively against those with behind - the week and months of training? "
Robert Dalsho confirms that quickly mobilize only units with extensive backbone of the professional military.

"It means three battalions, which can hardly be called a team," - he concluded.

People are poorly trained

In many European countries the situation is no better. The troops are not coordinated, can not fight in the large structures, they do not have heavy weapons, such as tanks.

"We have the advantage of Russian. They have all worked out yet with 2010 years. In terms of the effectiveness of combat operations they are ahead of us for a few years. This is a really serious problem, "- says Karlis Neretniks.

Robert Dalsho agree with him.

"Most countries in Western Europe - in the same poor condition as well as Sweden. Alas, we are no exception. "

Russian advantage in the Baltic Sea

The survey was compiled from data Rand Corporation (report "Strengthening the capacity of containment on the eastern flank of NATO», Reinforcing deterrence on Nato's eastern flank) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (report "The Military Balance 2016», The Military Balance 2016), as well as on the basis of conversations with scientists and experts. The figures give an idea, with some countries of the region forces can act in a relatively short period of time, a maximum of a week, instead of the full military potential of each country in terms of total mobilization. In comparison, are not considered such a force, like the host.

Ground troops


About 150 thousand military. 25 control battalions (four tank, five motorized infantry, mechanized infantry five, eight airborne, three Marine battalions). support forces - ten artillery battalions (three battalions of cannon artillery, two battalions of heavy rocket artillery, five battalions lightweight rocket artillery), and five missile divisions, which include two complex "Iskander" short-range and three complexes "Point" super short-range . In addition, there are six battalions of combat helicopters Mi-24.


About seven thousand troops. Three battalions. In theory, Sweden could put about ten battalions, but it can not be done quickly, says the analyst of the Institute of Defense Studies Robert Dalsho. The reason - lack of staff personnel.

"It is necessary to fill the gap former liable for military service who served ten years ago. Quickly mobilized only units with extensive backbone of the professional military. This means three battalions, which can hardly be called a team. "

On paper: 10 battalions, of which two battalions of light infantry, five infantry, one motorized, one airborne, one battalion of the security forces, three armored company.


About 16 thousand people. From nine to ten battalions. In wartime, Finland is able to mobilize up to 285 thousand people, but most soldiers will have to use outdated equipment and equipment. 20% of units receive 80% of the money. According to Robert Dalsche, there are three elite brigades, to which all means and all modern equipment go.

On paper - 13 battalions, including two armored, two infantry, three Jaeger, six battalions of light infantry.


About 2800 + 1000 military. Six battalions (two infantry, three light infantry, a multinational NATO battalion).


About 1250 + 1000 military. Three battalions (two light infantry, a multinational NATO battalion).


10800 + 1000 soldiers. Seven battalions (three mechanized infantry, three motorized infantry, one multinational battalion of the NATO).

US and UK

Six battalions (three military aircraft, combat helicopters, two battalions, one mechanized infantry). Of course, the US military potential is much greater. But the conclusion of the six battalions of the analytical center of Rand made by analyzing what forces will have time to arrive at the scene in the event of a crisis.


About five thousand people. Five battalions. At the forefront of operational NATO Response Force of 40 thousand people - The combined operational forces are very high availability (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force), that is, five thousand people who can join the battle in a period of two to seven days.

"Within a day or two they leave their garrisons, but it does not mean that they will come into place. In addition, they will have to deliver heavy weapons by sea. And the sea route from, for example, the Bilbao to Tallinn too will take time, "- said Karlis Neretniks.



From 200 to 300 aircraft. 27 divisions (nine Su-27, two Su-34, three MiG-29, four MiG-31, five Su-24, four Tu-22M3).


97 aircraft. Four divisions JAS «Gripen".


62 aircraft. Three division McDonnel Douglas F / A-18.


About 150-200 aircraft. 18 divisions (the five F-15, one B-1B, five F-16, two F / A-18, two Typhoon FGR Mk4, one Rafale B / C, as well as F-22, A-10, CF-18) .



Two destroyers of the "modern", two patrol boats of the "Intrepid", four corvettes type "Guarding" four small missile ship type "Gadfly" six small antisubmarine ships of 1331-M, seven missile submarines of the "Tarantula"


Seven corvettes (five "Visby", two "Gothenburg"). Three submarines (three "Gotland", two "Sodermandlanda").


Eight missile submarines (four "Cauma" four "Hamina").

Four NATO battalion, consisting of a total of four thousand soldiers will come to a place in next year. In Poland accommodate the Americans, the British and Romanians, in Lithuania - Germans, Belgians, Croatians, French, Luxembourgers, the Dutch and the Norwegians, in Latvia - Canadians, Albanians, Italians, Poles and Slovenes, in Estonia - the British, the Danes and the French.

A source: ИноСМИ

Author: Niklas Vent (Niclas Vent, Aftonbladet, Sweden)

Tags: Russia, the Baltic States, NATO, War, Army, Navy, Air Force, Navy, Navy, Navy, Ships, Aircraft, Armament, Analysis, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania

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