NATO will put 300,000 troops on high alert as Russia’s renewed offensive in Ukraine raises World War Three fears.
The news comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin looks to have increased attacks with troops launching a horrific attack on a shopping centre containing around 1,000 people.
Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg revealed the huge boost from coalition’s existing response force, as NATO leaders prepare to descend on Madrid for a crunch summit tomorrow (June 28).
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Speaking at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Mr Stoltenberg pledged a “fundamental shift in NATO’s deterrence and defence”.
He said: “We will transform the NATO response force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000.”
With countries fearing mounting aggression from Moscow following Vladimir Putin’s war on Russia’s neighbour, the measure is designed at bolstering defences where Baltic states border Russia.
Finland and Sweden’s bids for membership in the 30-member alliance are due to be discussed when coalition leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, take part in negotiations in the Spanish capital.
Leaders are also expected to overhaul NATO’s whole approach to the Kremlin.
The alliance’s last strategy from 2010 described Moscow as a strategic partner – before it annexed the Crimea in 2014, supported anti-government rebels in eastern Ukraine in the same year, and launched a full military invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Mr Stoltenberg confirmed: “I expect that allies will state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to our security, to our values, to the rules-based international order.”
Speaking via video link after Kremlin missiles rained down on Kyiv, Zelenskyy urged the G7 for more weapons to repel Russian invaders.
He called on them to be ‘partners, not observers’ and provide the military equipment his country needs.
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Earlier today (June 27), two Russian missiles slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk.
At least three people were killed and wounded 40, senior Ukrainian officials said.
The attack caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky, footage circulated by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy showed.