RUSSIA has announced they have formed a new military task force to match NATO punch for punch in the Baltic.
Four divisions, nine brigades, and 22 regiments have been formed to match the massing of alliance forces along the the disputed region.
Two of the new divisions are armed with Iskander ballistic missile launchers, capable of launching nuclear warheads – matching Russia’s build-up of nuclear power near Kazakhstan.
Military chiefs heard how the launchers will “boost fire power to destroy the potential adversary”.
The announcement comes after experts warned Vladimir Putin’s Russia has the capabilities and the will to launch an invasion of Europe “overnight”.
The anti-NATO task force was announced by Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, at the Defense Ministry board session in Moscow.
The Defense Ministry has carried out more than 200 readiness drills in the district since 2013 and ready to match NATO blow for blow, he told the board.
He told the military bosses the region had been completely re-armed and said troops in the region were now a “self-sufficient task force”.
Knife-edge tension has racked the region ever since Russia annexed nearby Crimea from neighboring Ukraine.
Shoigu said: “In the given conditions, we have to take commensurate reaction measures” and added “the air defense capability in the southwestern strategic direction has grown by 50 percent”.
He claimed Russian manpower has been doubled, along with more than 4,000 units new
military hardware – including missile launchers, missile defense systems, and new submarines armed with cruise missiles.
As well as meeting NATO, the Russian defense kingpin said it is also to keep instability in Ukraine under control and to meet “growing terrorist activity”.
But America have expressed no intention of backing down despite fears the world is heading for a new Cold War and global conflict could be imminent.
John Kirby, spokesman for the US State department said: “If true, we believe that this would appear to run counter to ongoing efforts to stop violence and de-escalate the tensions in eastern Ukraine.”
He added: “Crimea is and always will remain part of Ukraine. We’re not going to allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn at the barrel of a gun.”