Status: 04.12.2023, 11:42 a.m.
By: Stefan Krieger
A Russian-American military analyst predicts the rapid fall of the Baltic states. And he demands even more.
MOSCOW – A Russian propagandist and ally of Vladimir Putin claimed during a recent television appearance that in a hypothetical future conflict, the Baltic states would fall to Moscow within just 15 minutes.
On Saturday (2 December), Julia Davis, columnist for TheDailyBeast and founder of the watchdog group Russian Media Monitor, shared on X (formerly Twitter) an excerpt from a broadcast by well-known Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. Solovyovin and a number of guests celebrated the possible expansion of the "empire" of Russia.
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The state television panel on Vladimir Solovyov's program rejoiced that the Russian empire is expanding. Participants expressed astonishment at the "stupid" Westerners who still do not understand modern Russia, which has been "kicking their ass for centuries," Davis said in her post for X, in which she shared the clip.
Presenter Vladimir Solovyov on Russian state TV. © IMAGO/Sergei Karpukhin
Among the show's guests was Stanislav Krapivnik, a Russian-American military analyst who formerly served in the U.S. Army before defecting to Russia in the 90s. At one point, Krapivnik said that the Baltic states – the former Soviet Union territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – would be Russia's next target and that they would fall in a short time.
"We're coming back": Russia's state TV is optimistic
"We want the world. Preferably the whole one," Krapivnik said after being translated by Russian Media Monitor. And that's our goal. At the moment, the Russian empire is growing again. We'll be back. The Baltic states will be next. They say they are ready for war with Russia. How long will it take? About 15 minutes."
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The three Baltic states joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March 2004 and have since become one of the main focal points of the alliance's efforts to prepare for possible attacks by Russia. During the Russian invasion that led to the Ukraine war, states have been working to strengthen their defenses. In the past, the Russian leadership has repeatedly expressed the desire to reconquer more territory from the Soviet era.
Despite Krapivnik's optimism, an armed conflict with one of the Baltic states would be complicated by its NATO membership. Article 5 of the organization's treaty states that an attack on one member state is considered an attack on all member states and that the other members will provide military assistance in the ensuing conflict. A war with the Baltic states would therefore lead to a much wider conflict. NATO would come into play because the so-called defensive case would occur.
The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America will be considered an attack against them all; they therefore agree that in the event of such an armed attack, each of them, in exercising the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, shall render assistance to the Party or Parties being attacked, [...]
North Atlantic Treaty, Article 5
In a recent report for the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Russia expert Pavel Baev wrote that the war in Ukraine has severely affected Moscow's ability to maintain a military presence near its borders with the Baltics. But that doesn't stop state propaganda from making big plans for the future. (skr)