Intelligence Report Sounds Alarm On Looming War

An Estonian intelligence assessment claims that Russia is preparing for war with NATO. The report states that the Kremlin has already doubled its troop numbers at the Estonian border, and is in the midst of a military overhaul. The number of Russian soldiers near Estonia’s border has doubled from 19,000 in 2022, and the intelligence indicates that President Vladimir Putin will increase numbers near Finland – its neighbor and latest member of NATO.

Estonia’s defense minister, Hanno Pevkur, called for more defense spending in the military alliance’s member nations and warned that Putin will “provoke” conflict with them if he is successful in Ukraine. He added that signs of this are already evident as the Russian army moves forces westward.

Kaupo Rosin, the head of the Estonian foreign intelligence service, published the report on February 14, and told reporters that Moscow has chosen to pursue long-term confrontation and “probably” anticipates a conflict with NATO over the next decade. Nevertheless, Rosin said a short-term attack is unlikely because Russia is using so many of its resources in Ukraine. He urged Western leaders to respond with troop build-ups, making Russian invasion of Eastern European countries less likely in the future.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has similarly warned that Russia may be planning to invade Moldova. It says Russian leaders are using rhetoric similar to that used immediately before the Ukraine war. Examples include comments from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said the EU and US are controlling the country’s government, and Moscow will not allow Russians in Moldova to become victims of “another Western adventure.”

Moldova’s government takes a pro-EU position and achieved candidacy status last year, meaning it is en route to becoming an EU member, which would likely infuriate Moscow. Moldova contains a 1,300 square-mile region known as Transnistria, which was a key military base during the Soviet Union and which has expressed desire to leave Moldova and become part of Russia.