The West Is Becoming Aware of the Threat Coming from Moscow

Leaders of NATO member states are talking about the threat of Russia's fast conventional attack against the Baltic states increasingly more often, and in this situation, Russian troops will have a major advantage over the Alliance. Russia also has good possibilities for such an attack against Ukraine.

Since the very start of Russian aggression — and this has already been acknowledged by everyone – the West turned out unprepared to provide an adequate response. Back at the very beginning of Crimea's annexation, Ukraine was advised to be more careful, not to provoke Putin, etc. This is the rhetoric that proved that the West was not ready for a hard-line scenario. But as resources were accumulated and solidarity grew in political evaluations of this scenario, the rhetoric began to change. And now the talk is already about containment of Russia, while preserving the constructive dialogue.

The West is aware of the threat, otherwise, there would not be talk of increasing defence budgets up to 2% of the GDP, no talk of the need to modernise armed forces in European countries. There is awareness of the sources of Russia's advantages: the promptness in decision approval and implementation, ability to quickly gather, deploy and build forces. Although, these things are not as clear-cut as imagined, and in some areas Russia's potential is overrated (in particular, in the transport infrastructure capacity, efficiency of decision-making system, sufficiency of resources).

Mykola Sunhurovskyi

Director, Military Programmes

Born in 1951 in Moscow.


Orenburg Higher Military Air Defence Forces School (1972);

Kyiv Air Defence Forces Academy (1982);

Higher School of Entrepreneurship, Kyiv Institute of National Economy (1991).

Ph. D. in Technical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow, the author of more than 90 publications.

Colonel (Ret.) with 31 years of military service, half of that term — at research institutions. Research profile — systems analysis, strategic planning, analysis methods, national security.


Most recent position in state bodies — Department Chief at the Analytical Service of Ukraine's NSDC Staff;

Since December 1999 — Razumkov Centre Programme Co-ordinator;

Since February 2000 — Freelance Consultant to the National Security and Defence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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