World War III Watch: Eastern Europe NATO Allies Readying to Foil Russian Hybrid Attacks

ZAGAN, POLAND - JUNE 18: A soldier of the Polish Army sits in a tank as a NATO flag flies
Sean Gallup/Getty

Wars and rumours of wars are having an impact on military preparedness right across Eastern Europe. NATO member Poland on Monday became the latest state to announce a boost, presenting a plan to strengthen its anti-drone surveillance and on-ground military capabilities in the face of continued Russian threats.

The effort follows Finland, Norway, and Baltic states drawing up similar proposals to deter Moscow’s aggression.

AP reports a system of fortifications and barriers along about 430 miles of Poland’s eastern border with Russia and Russian ally Belarus are part of the planning.

The government says Poland, which supports neighboring Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s aggression, is being targeted by hostile actions by Russia and Belarus.

They include cyberattacks, attempted arson and migrants being pushed illegally across the border, which officials describe as intended to destabilize the European Union, of which Poland is a member, the AP report notes.

The government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk has planned a range of security measures including in cyberspace, as well as a more than $2.5 billion investment in strengthening surveillance, deterrence and defense along the eastern border, a system known as Shield-East that is to be completed in 2028.

Work on it has started, officials said.

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Meanwhile the Baltic states announced plans alongside Norway, Finland and Poland to construct a “drone wall” along their shared borders with Russia on Sunday, Newsweek reports.

Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets said the technology is capable of both detecting and repelling drones, adding his country plans to install the barrier along its entire eastern border as well as around its major cities.

“As we can see on the Ukrainian front, there is a constant technological race between adversaries and new ways to use drones in warfare. The same is true for the various drones that people have access to. Being even a small step ahead of the opponent leads to greater success, but this success can be measured in days, as countermeasures are discovered with alarming speed for each measure, and the cycle continues,” Läänemets said.

“There is no question whether this is necessary, as even the smallest drones have already proven their worth as reconnaissance and offensive weapons,” he added.

The announcement comes days after Russia said it plans to change its maritime borders in the Baltic Sea. Lithuania’s foreign minister responded last week, calling it an “obvious escalation” that must be met with an “appropriately firm response.”

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