The German Ministry of Defence has sketched out a vision of how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could spill over into a NATO-wide conflict.

A secret plan by the German government preparing for a potential Russian aggression against NATO has been leaked, revealing that the country’s Ministry of Defence is bracing for a possible all-out European war in the near future.

According to German newspaper Bild, which has seen the plans, the “exercise scenario” sketched out by the German government foresees an incoming build-up of Russian troops in Belarus and the exclave of Kaliningrad, Russia’s most westerly territory, putting pressure on Poland’s border.


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In response to this increased threat, the plan forecasts that NATO will deploy its troops to eastern Europe, heightening tensions in the region.

What might happen next is hard to predict, but the German government has painted a picture of what a possible escalation of the conflict could look like, with Russia using Belarus as a military launchpad once again.

In Germany’s “exercise scenario”, the Kremlin would mobilize 200,000 new recruits in February for a new offensive in Ukraine which would allow Moscow to make significant advances on the ground by June.

In July, Russia would begin a campaign of hybrid warfare against the Baltic states. These cyber-attacks in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia would play on Russia’s false narratives that Russian-speaking minorities in these countries are being unfairly targeted to a degree that demands intervention.

An eruption of violence in these countries will then justify the mobilization of Russian troops sent to Belarus and western Russia by September.

A month later, Moscow will deploy troops at the Belarusian border with Poland and in Kaliningrad, which sits uncomfortably between Poland and Lithuania. According to the German government, it’s then very likely that Russian troops will target the Suwalki Gap, a strip of land inside the Polish border with Lithuania.