Leaked German military documents, obtained by the newspaper Bild, have sketched out a detailed scenario suggesting a potential conflict between Russia and NATO as early as 2024. The documents from the German Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) outline a sequence of events leading to a significant military confrontation.
The scenario begins with Russian mobilization in February 2024, followed by a spring offensive gaining substantial Ukrainian territory. By July, Russia is anticipated to conduct cyberattacks in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and incite violence among ethnic minorities, possibly using these conflicts as a pretext to deploy troops to Belarus and western Russia. By September, the scenario forecasts the movement of up to 50,000 Russian troops and medium-range missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave.
A critical point in the scenario is a “border conflict” in the Suwalki Corridor between Belarus and Kaliningrad in December. The document anticipates Russia exploiting the post-US election chaos to launch an attack on NATO territory in January 2025. In response, NATO is expected to deploy around 300,000 troops to its eastern flank by May 2025.
Mitko Müller, a spokesperson, did not confirm or deny the report’s contents. Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Center of Excellence for Strategic Communications, mentioned that the document outlined a training scenario, which is usually fictional, involving existing countries and regions for realism.