Russia’s successful defense of its positions against Ukrainian troops prompted NATO to rethink its defense strategies, according to an article published by The Economist.
“Russian fortifications in southern and eastern Ukraine were the most extensive defensive works in Europe since the Second World War,” the magazine wrote, citing analysis by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, an American think-tank.
In November, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky tasked his commanders with accelerating the construction of fortifications and shelters on the border with Russia. Poland also started building up its own defenses on the border with Belarus, while Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia agreed to create their own collective “defense line,” the article says.
Earlier, the Estonian authorities announced that they will have to build 600 concrete bunkers along the border with Russia. The magazine says that the governments of Latvia and Lithuania will need 1,116 and 2,758 bunkers, respectively, if they want to build fortifications at a similar density.
The article says that this “throws up a dilemma” to other NATO members, whose armies have long preferred a different strategy of “elastic defense.” According to this concept, forces retreat as needed and face the enemy on more favorable terrain. The Economist writes that this strategy “is incompatible with defending every inch of NATO soil.”.