NATO will hold large-scale exercises simulating Russian attack

Stock photo: Getty Images
Stock photo: Getty Images

NATO is to hold large-scale military exercises in February involving 90,000 military personnel to rehearse a scenario of a Russian attack on the territory of a NATO member.

Source: German press agency dpa, which learned the details on the sidelines of a meeting of the Alliance's top military representatives in Brussels; European Pravda; Bild

Details: The Western defence alliance wants to mobilise about 90,000 soldiers for training, making the manoeuvres the largest since the end of the Cold War.

The exercises, which are to begin in February, will be called Steadfast Defender and will focus on notification and the deployment of national and multinational ground forces.

A meeting of NATO defence ministers will also be held in Brussels in mid-February.

According to dpa, the scenario of the exercises envisages a Russian attack on the territory of NATO member states which leads to a declaration of "action" under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.

Article 5 regulates the obligation to provide assistance within the Alliance and states that an armed attack on one or more Allies is considered an attack on them all.

The last major manoeuvre of this kind took place in 1988.

NATO's largest exercise to date since the end of the Cold War was organised in 2018, with a focus on Norway. Trident Juncture 2018 involved about 51,000 soldiers.

The last NATO manoeuvres that were larger than the exercises now being planned took place before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. At that time, among other things, there was a series of manoeuvres called Return of Forces to Germany. In 1988, for example, about 125,000 soldiers were involved.


  • Bild reported that it had gained access to a secret Bundeswehr document – a training scenario that describes step by step how a military conflict between Russia and NATO could develop. The scenario describes the actions of Russia and the West month by month, culminating in the deployment of hundreds of thousands of NATO soldiers and the inevitable outbreak of war in the summer of 2025.

  • Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Center of Excellence for Strategic Communications, said that the Bild article was based on a training scenario document.

Support UP or become our patron!