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Multi-Layered Defensive Line Planned on NATO-Russia Border

Multi-layered defensive line

Poland has unveiled a plan for new defenses along its borders with Russia and Belarus, with the image showing a wall, barbed wire, anti-tank obstacles and vegetation. Poland, a NATO country, has unveiled a new plan for its border designed to protect against attacks from Russia.

Poland’s Defense Ministry on Monday unveiled Operation Eastern Shield, an operation to strengthen its eastern border with Russia and Belarus. It said the effort would be the largest defensive 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 segment of the planned border zone.

It included at least eight different types of defenses:

  • A permanent fence
  • Barbed wire
  • Anti-tank ditch
  • Anti-tank hedgehogs
  • Mines
  • Another ditch
  • A layer of vegetation

Officials also announced plans to increase warning and surveillance systems and anti-drone systems, as well as prepare forward operating bases. The Russian-Polish border runs through Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg), a Russian exclave to the north. It also shares a border with Belarus, a dictatorship considered a Russian puppet state that helped Russia invade. Poland shares about 140 miles of border with Russia and about 250 miles with Belarus. It said the Eastern Shield plan would cover a total of 435 miles of border.

Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, Poland’s defense minister, said work on the defenses would begin this year and be completed by 2028. Poland’s deputy prime minister put the cost at $2.56 billion. The project is being implemented in cooperation with neighboring Baltic states Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, with whom Poland has worked to improve security in the region.

All four countries were formerly under Soviet rule and have been outspoken about the prospect of a Russian attack again. Poland and the Baltic states have been Ukraine’s most outspoken allies, advocating for a more radical response than most Western countries. Poland spends a higher percentage of its GDP on defense than any other NATO member, including the United States.