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Military chief warns that Russia could invade Europe ‘within 48 hours’

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Dave Fawbert
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It may have been almost 27 years since the Berlin Wall came down, but it seems like we're plunging back into the Cold War right now.

As reports emerge that Vladimir Putin is planning to revive the much-feared KGB if he wins a fourth term in office in the 2018 elections - and you can probably bet your house, family and dog on that happening - a former NATO chief has warned that Russia could invade Europe within a matter of days, should it desire.

The recently-retired General Sir Richard Barrons told The Times that Russia could deploy planes, ships and troops onto European territory within 48 hours and not expect any resistance from NATO, the European and North American military alliance, as it has 'no plan if Russia invades'.

He argues that central and southern European countries are failing to take Putin's threats seriously, concentrating instead on the migration crisis and continued terrorist threats, and have no coherent defence plans on how to stop any invasion from the east.

He commented, “If you list all the military capability that Nato has, it has a lot more than Russia, but because most of it exists in this semi-dormant state there is a window of opportunity where . . . Russia could use its smaller forces to tweak Nato in a way to which Nato would be very pressed to respond because it doesn’t have any plans to do that. In the absence of consensus, largely between the north, the centre and the south, it drops down to the lowest common denominator and not much will happen.”

He pointed out that Russia's invasion of Crimea and military excursion into the Ukraine had seen condemnation, but no effective response from NATO.

With nuclear powers such as France and the UK unlikely to ever use nuclear weapons unless the situation was grave, Putin could be emboldened to keep pushing west into nations adjacent to Russia, with little fear of any retribution from NATO.

So at what point will Russia stop? What would happen if they tried to wind the clock back to the Warsaw Pact and exert influence over the likes of Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia? Will there be a new 'iron curtain' in 21st Century Europe? We will soon find out.

(Image: Rex)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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