Baltic nations, Poland consider troop deployment if Russia advances in Ukraine

Kharkiv Oblast May 21
Kharkiv Oblast May 21

Baltic legislators have suggested that Poland and the Baltic states might deploy troops to Ukraine if Russian forces achieve a significant breakthrough in eastern Ukraine, Der Spiegel reported on May 26.

Last week in Tallinn, these Baltic MPs expressed their concerns to the German government, particularly highlighting Germany's hesitation to supply long-range weapons to Ukraine and restrictions on Western arms being used on Russian soil.

Read also: High casualties for Russians in Vovchansk street battles, reveals Ukrainian Army Commander Syrskyi

The Baltic politicians warned that tepid support from the West might enable a major Russian advance, potentially leading to a drastic escalation. "In such a scenario, we won't wait for Russian troops to reach our borders," they stated. "We will send our forces to Ukraine, making NATO a party to the conflict."

This situation is a significant concern for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. President Joe Biden, as it could draw NATO directly into the war.

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to request more substantial military support from its allies, including long-range weapons capable of reaching deep into Russian-occupied territories. While Scholz reiterated his opposition to Ukraine using Western arms to strike inside Russian borders on May 26, the UK and France have already sent Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine.

Russian advance in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian troops have heavily shelled border settlements in Kharkiv Oblast, initiating a new wave of counteroffensives near Vovchansk on May 10, followed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announcing Ukrainian forces redeployment to the Kharkiv sector in response.

Several villages in northern Kharkiv Oblast came under Russian occupation, monitoring groups reported.

Read also: Sweden backs Ukraine's right to hit Russian territory

Russian troops have expanded the area of active combat operations by almost 70 kilometers during the Kharkiv Oblast offensive to force the Ukrainian Armed Forces to call up to brigades from reserve, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 17.

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from the northern frontline Kharkiv Oblast since the beginning of the new Russian offensive, regional governor, Oleh Synehubov, reported on Telegram on May 19.

Ukrainian forces were able to stabilize the situation in Vovchansk, Khortytsia Operational-Strategic Troop Grouping spokesperson, Nazar Voloshyn, said, adding that the Russian troops continue attempts to break through Ukrainian defenses near Lyptsi, Vovchansk, and Starytsia. According to the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War, as of May 23, Ukraine had recaptured some ground in Vovchansk.

Read also: Ukrainian commander slams German Chancellor for opposing strikes on Russian territory

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