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Planned 7-layer defensive border between NATO and Russia

Planned 7-layer defensive border between NATO and Russia

A diagram from the Polish Ministry of National Defense showing the planned border defences.
Poland Ministry of National Defence

  • Poland has unveiled a plan to create new defenses along its borders with Russia and Belarus.
  • Poland and other European NATO members are warning that Russia may launch an attack.
  • The picture showed a wall, barbed wire, anti-tank obstacles and plants.

A NATO country has unveiled a new plan for its borders aimed at defending against attacks from Russia.

Poland’s Defense Ministry on Monday promoted Operation Eastern Shield to strengthen its eastern borders with Russia and Belarus.

She added that this effort would be the largest defense effort on NATO’s eastern flank since the end of World War II in 1945.

A diagram released as part of the policy document showed one part of the planned “border area”.

At least eight different types of defense have emerged:

  • Permanent fence
  • Barbed wire
  • Anti-tank ditch
  • A field of anti-tank obstacles (known as hedgehogs)
  • Mines
  • Another trench
  • Layer of vegetation

Officials also announced plans to increase warning, tracking and anti-drone systems as well as prepare forward operating bases.

Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, General Wieslaw Kokula, said that the project will strengthen Poland’s resistance, limit the movement of enemy forces, and protect Polish soldiers and civilians.

The Russian-Polish border is located with Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave to its north. It also shares a border with Belarus, a dictatorship considered a Russian client state that aided Russia in the invasion.

To the south, it borders Ukraine, where Russia has been carrying out a large-scale invasion since 2022.

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The plan said that not all border areas would be fortified to maximum strength, but did not provide details. Poland has about 140 miles of border with Russia and about 250 miles with Belarus.

She said the “Eastern Shield” plan would cover a total of 435 miles of the border.

Work on the defenses will begin this year and be completed by 2028, said Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, Polish Defense Minister.

The Polish Deputy Prime Minister estimated the cost at $2.56 billion.

Chief of Staff of the Polish Armed Forces. General Wieslaw Kokula and Deputy Defense Minister Cezary Tomczyk speak about the plan to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank in Warsaw, Poland on Monday.
AFP Photos/Zarek Sokolowski

The project is being implemented in cooperation with nearby Baltic states such as Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, with whom Poland is working to strengthen security in the region.

All four countries were controlled by the Soviet Union and were open about the possibility of Russia attacking again.

Poland and the Baltic states have been among Ukraine’s most vocal allies, calling for more dramatic responses than most Western countries.

Poland spends a higher percentage of its GDP on defense than any other NATO member, including the United States.

Warnings that Russia may attack

Poland is one of several European NATO members who have warned that Russia may attack elsewhere in Europe if it is not defeated in Ukraine. Because of NATO’s collective defense clause, this would also likely push the United States into a broader war.

Head of the Polish National Security Agency He said At the end of last year, Russia could attack NATO countries within three years – by 2026.

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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk also said in March that Europe was going through a “pre-war era” and needed to urgently prepare.

Other Russian neighbors are working to strengthen their borders

Other countries close to Russia are also working to increase their border defenses.

The Baltic states also plan to erect large fortifications on their borders with Russia and Belarus, including bunkers.

Six NATO countries – Poland, Finland, Norway and the three Baltic states – are also reportedly planning to build a “drone wall” to defend against Russia.

Poland already has a border wall between it and Belarus, built by its previous government last year to prevent migration.

Poland and its neighbors say Russia is targeting them by sending migrants across their borders and launching cyberattacks, describing these actions as Russian efforts to destabilize Europe.