Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has significantly changed the plans of NATO members. In particular, for those countries that are located on the Eastern flank of the Alliance’s territory and border the Russian Federation.


Brave Griffin 2024-II in Lithuania

Between April and June this year the Lithuanian Armed Forces announced “…One of the largest and most intense cycles of military training exercises, in which over twenty thousand Lithuanians and allied soldiers and thousands of military vehicles will participate”. In total, over ninety thousand NATO soldiers will be involved who will have the task of testing the defenses and plans adopted by the Alliance and the integration between the various forces on the ground to adequately respond to a possible attack by Russia.

It is clear that the entire operation has a strong deterrent value towards Russia and, at the same time, it sends an important signal: NATO is united and ready to face any aggression.

From 21 to 26 April, an important multinational military exercise took place in the so-called “Suwalki Corridor”, a border strip between Lithuania and Poland, which ends on one side in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and on the other with Belarus.

With a small number of journalists, we were invited to a demonstration, which was attended by the Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and the Polish President Andrzej Duda, their respective chiefs of defense Rupsys and Kukula, and the Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

Soldiers from the Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese and the US armies were involved in the exercise, called “Brave Griffin 2024-II”, who implemented the bilateral plan between Lithuania and Poland: “Orsha”. A plan that the two countries have been working on for a long time.

The Suwalki Corridor is considered one of the weak points on the eastern flank of the Alliance. A prompt response from NATO in the event of an attack is necessary to avoid cutting off the Baltics from the rest of Europe. And from the rest of the NATO countries.

In the exercise, which took place near Alytus, a few kilometers from the Polish border, the reaction capabilities, strategies and operations to be carried out in case of danger were tested. Two hundred combat units were on the field and the air forces were also involved with F16 fighters which currently have the task of surveillance of Lithuanian airspace.

The Presidents of Lithuania and Poland, during the press conference, spoke about further cooperation between the two countries. For example, for the creation of a common logistics center for the ammunition needed for missile systems. In particular, the HIMARS systems. A topic that is very close to the heart of the Baltic country, which is also working to bring the production of some ammunition “in house”.

The mention of the presence of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of NATO countries could not be missed. President Duda stated this a few days ago and reiterated it on this occasion, stating that Russia constantly violates international laws. He argues that, although the Kremlin raised its voice after such statements, claiming that it would be a serious hostile act by the Alliance, the presence of nuclear weapons on the eastern flank represents a strong deterrent. And this is what, according to him, is needed to stop any aggressive intention by the Russian Federation.

It should also be remembered that Russia has already deployed nuclear weapons in both Kaliningrad and Belarus. That is, on the border of territories belonging to NATO.

With these exercises, and with the scheduled arrival of a permanent German Brigade in Lithuania which will work alongside the NATO forces present in the Baltic country, the commitment is confirmed, no longer in words but with facts, that the Alliance has no intention to appear weak in front of Russia.


Brave Griffin 2024-II in Lithuania
Brave Griffin 2024: year of huge exercises in Lithuania

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