Іnna Turianytsia,

Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor,

State higher educational institution «Uzhhorod National University»,

Uzhhorod, Ukraine




Abstract. The article highlights the modern security and military-strategic issues surrounding the Suwałki gap, which is a section of the border between Poland and Lithuania. It simultaneously connects the Belarusian and Russian borders, in particular the militarized Kaliningrad exclave, is about 100 km long and is the only land link between Poland and the Baltic states. This constitutes an obvious vulnerability for the security situation of these countries and the eastern flank of NATO’s area of responsibility. The complex topography and natural conditions of the area only partially compensates for this vulnerability. These facts are recognized by almost everyone, although there are disagreements regarding the assessment of the possible danger, the nature and intensity of the relevant actions on the part of Poland, the Baltic countries and the NATO bloc as a whole. «Hybrid» threats, which have become relevant since 2014, as well as the deployment of direct Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2022, influenced the overcoming of skepticism about a possible Russian invasion in the Baltic region. The analysis of the factors of the problem by the expert environment showed that the Kremlin leadership may dare to embark on a new military adventure in anticipation of a significant strategic and political gain. Or, at the very least, it may benefit from continuing to maintain tension in the Baltic region for propaganda purposes. The worst-case scenarios must be taken into account, and defense measures adequate to them must be carefully planned and practiced in practice during military exercises. The provocations organized by the Kremlin leadership and supported by its Belarusian ally around the Kaliningrad exclave and the Suwałki gap create constant tension in the region. These motives led to the constant attention of politicians, the military and experts to the problem of the vulnerability of the Suwałki gap, assessment of the degree of potential threat, as well as the restoration of programs of large-scale annual NATO exercises «Defender Europe».

Keywords: North Atlantic Alliance, Lithuania, military-strategic risks, defense strategy, military training, security, geopolitical «gateway», Suwałki gap, Kaliningrad exclave.


Submitted  11.08.2023



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