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Germany fears Putin could start World War 3: Escalation in Ukraine and NATO Member States | World News – Times of India

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Europe is bracing for the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin might escalate the conflict in Ukraine and extend hostilities to Nato member states, as indicated by leaked documents from the German Ministry of Defense, published by the German newspaper BILD. These documents suggest that Germany‘s military is preparing for a potential “hybrid” Russian assault in Eastern Europe.
The leaked information outlines several alarming scenarios, including one named “Alliance Defense 2025,” which could begin as early as February with Russia mobilizing an additional 200,000 troops. This mobilization could follow a decrease in Western financial support for Ukraine, leading to a significant Russian offensive in the spring, a New York Post report said.
Germany’s apprehensions about Russia potentially instigating a global conflict are well-founded, according to the former commander of the United States Army in Europe. He emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin might resort to drastic measures if he perceives Nato as unprepared. Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges said, “If nations don’t take the threat of Russia ‘seriously’ and act in ‘alliance’ then a World War Three could develop in just 18 months.”
The documents also speculate on Russia initiating conflict in the Baltic states around July, employing severe cyberattacks and exploiting the discontent of Russian nationals in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. By September, Russia might conduct a large-scale military exercise, “Zapad 2024,” involving around 50,000 troops in western Russia and Belarus.
A key part of the strategy could involve Russia moving troops and mid-range missiles to Kaliningrad, a small Russian territory between Lithuania and Poland, both Nato members. The plan might include a propaganda campaign to create the illusion of an imminent Nato attack, aiming to seize the Suwalki Gap, a strategic corridor between Belarus and Kaliningrad.
By the end of the year, Russia could exploit the US presidential transition period to stir unrest in the Suwalki Gap area, using propaganda to fabricate border conflicts or riots. In response to these developments, the scenario suggests that 30,000 German troops would be deployed for defense against an estimated 70,000 Russian forces in Belarus. By May 2025, Nato might take action to deter further Russian advances, potentially leading to direct combat between Western and Russian forces.
Despite these scenarios, Putin and Russian officials have consistently denied intentions to expand the Ukraine conflict beyond its borders. However, European allies are taking the threat seriously and are preparing for various possibilities.
In the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which started in February 2022, there have been significant casualties, with an estimated half a million Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or injured. Recently, Sweden’s Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin and the country’s military Commander-in-Chief Micael Bydén have expressed concerns about the possibility of war in Sweden, underscoring the need for comprehensive preparedness.
The German Defense Ministry, while not commenting on specific scenarios, acknowledged to BILD that considering various potential situations, even unlikely ones, is a routine part of military operations and training.

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