Russia is eating its neighbors. Six years ago, it severed two provinces from Georgia. This year, it devoured Crimea. Now it has thousands of troops deployed near Ukraine’s eastern border—up to 40,000, according to NATO estimates—backed by helicopters, tanks, and artillery. Meanwhile, Russia is threatening to cut off its gas supply to Ukraine and, by extension, European countries that rely on pipelines running through Ukraine.
The countries in Russia’s path aren’t stupid. Lithuania has announced coordinated defense measures “in the context of threats.” Poland is asking for two heavy NATO brigades. Romania is conducting military exercises with the U.S. and requesting “an eastward repositioning of NATO’s naval, air and ground forces.” Estonia is turning one of its military airports into a NATO base. “Everyone in Europe, and not only in Europe, should be worried,” says Estonia’s prime minister.
These countries don’t need NATO propaganda to tell them Russia is a threat. Russia’s troops, tanks, and land grabs have made that case convincingly. You can’t talk your way out of this one, Mr. Lavrov. The only way out is to take your guns and go home.