War in Ukraine: the invasion of Russia – Can war reach Germany?

Berlin.Just a few months ago, the idea that there might be a full-scale war of aggression on European soil seemed absurd. Even in Ukraine, which has long been alarmed, no one could have imagined that Vladimir Putin was aiming directly for Kiev. These days it is difficult to navigate between an underestimation of the aggression potential of the Russian sovereign Putin, as has been the case for a long time in Germany, and an overestimation of the situation, which presupposes the approach of a world war.

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How dangerous is the situation for the European Union?

The EU is deeply affected by the war against Ukraine. It takes place on their continent. EU member states Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are direct neighbors. If Putin took all of Ukraine, the threat of a significantly extended eastern border with Russia would increase for the EU.

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Putin, on the other hand, would be one step closer to his goal of taking back the old Soviet republic. A Russia-occupied Ukraine would be a constant source of unrest at the EU’s external borders. The planned movements of refugees from Ukraine would also put considerable pressure on the neighbors.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister reports “Terrifying missile attacks on Kiev”

On the second day of the Russian attack, Ukraine reports rocket fire on the capital Kiev.

What can prevent Putin from moving further to Eastern Europe?

Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are among the youngest members of NATO, as are the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is central to the question of when the transatlantic defense alliance itself will go on an offensive with weapons. He claims that an armed attack on a NATO member is considered an attack on all NATO members. Then there is a duty of care.

In concrete terms, this means that if Russian soldiers, Russian tanks or Russian artillery cross the borders of a NATO country, all NATO members, from the United States to Turkey to Germany, defend alliance partners. attacked. An attack on Romania would be considered an attack on Germany.

This article 5 also hides a high potential deterrent for Putin. If, for example, he faces Estonia, where nearly one in three residents are Russian or of Russian descent, then he has all of NATO’s military might against him.

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Precisely for this reason, the countries of the former Eastern Bloc made their way into the Western alliance in droves: they were always worried that Russia would one day want to resurrect the old Soviet republic. For Ukraine, however, it is bitterness: NATO cannot and will not be able to help militarily.

When will NATO intervene?

NATO has declared this alliance only once in its history since 1949, ie after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Subsequent military operations against the Taliban only resulted in the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. If, in the course of the war against Ukraine, the case of the alliance were to be declared again, the subsequent operations would probably be difficult, costly and time-consuming, even for the Bundeswehr. The consequences would be unpredictable. All 30 allies could be at war with Russia.

What can NATO do now?

Since NATO sees itself as a defensive alliance, it cannot and should not act unless a member is attacked. It can only act as a deterrent through its size and verbal determination. When an ally feels threatened, as in the case of the Baltic states and Ukraine’s neighbors, Article 4 of the NATO treaty provides for consultation.

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“It will not be enough”: the former general of the Bundeswehr asks for more American soldiers at the borders of NATO

In Putin’s war against Ukraine, the West must prepare “for the worst case,” Harald Kujat said in a video interview.

Such consultations took place on Thursday after Putin’s attack on Ukraine. As a result, NATO is once again bolstering its troops on the eastern flank. The total number of soldiers is a few thousand, but significantly less than the deployment of Russian troops around and in Ukraine.

Do reservists in Germany need to be prepared to be enrolled?

The further increase in troops in Eastern Europe will initially not cause any personnel shortages in the Bundeswehr. However, should the unlikely scenario arise that NATO has to declare an alliance, the Bundeswehr will likely be in great demand. Then it could also be that the Bundeswehr also uses reservists to ensure sustainability in missions.

Is Germany specifically threatened by the war in Ukraine?

Germany will initially feel the effects of the war against Ukraine mainly in economic terms, in particular following further increases in energy prices. If the east-west comparison continues, it is also conceivable that natural gas and heating oil will not only become expensive but also scarce in the coming winter. Then the question of alternative energies will arise and how and where the rationing will take place. When such a scenario encounters an economy paralyzed by heavy sanctions against Russia, it will put significant pressure on the government and the country as a whole.

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What concrete options does Putin have if he indirectly threatens a nuclear attack?

The world got its breath back this week when, on the day of the invasion, Putin indirectly threatened a nuclear attack if anyone got in his way. Especially since Putin makes his own rules and the category “getting in the way” is a question of interpretation and not of clear categories.

If Putin really wanted to fire nuclear weapons, Germany would actually be in danger. Russia has medium-range nuclear systems stationed in Europe that are expected to have a range of over 2,000 kilometers. This would make Warsaw or Berlin an easy destination.

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