Lithuania Issues Third Survival Guidebook Amid Russian ‘Aggression’
Rahvusvahelised uudised 05 Nov 2016  EWR
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Tensions remain high in the Baltics since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and Lithuania is preparing for a possible invasion. 2 November 2016
Lithuania, on edge about a potential Russian invasion ever since its powerful neighbor annexed Crimea two years ago, has issued a 75-page survival guide for civilians, the BBC reports.

The third such civil defense booklet instructs Lithuanians on how to spot Russian tanks and landmines, how to report and react to such sightings, and even how to survive in the wild, according to CNN.

“As we witness a growing interest and a wish of society to actively contribute to national defense, we are committed to continue familiarizing society with the possibilities to actively resist an aggressor and ways to survive amidst war,” Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said, as quoted by Newsweek.

Some 30,000 guidebooks will be distributed to conscription and volunteer troops as well as in some schools, libraries, and city councils. Lithuania will also make an online PDF of the booklet available.

Although this guidebook serves as a clear indicator of Lithuania’s (as well as Estonia’s and Latvia’s) growing fears of military aggression from its neighbor, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has cited “exaggerated attempts … made to demonize Russia in order to justify the military measures taken by the bloc [NATO].”

All three Baltic states are members of NATO.

The region has been doubtful of such reassurances, as the Russian Defense Ministry has increased its unauthorized military flights around Baltic airspace since 2014, according to Newsweek.

Lithuania’s last such guide, published in December 2015, was entitled "Prepare to survive emergencies and war: a cheerful take on serious recommendations," according to CNN.

• Along with the updated civil defense manual, the Lithuanian government has set up a telephone hotline for citizens to report sightings of potential Russian spies, the BBC reported.

• The Estonian Defense League has organized “war games” as part of its program to train citizens in how to survive as insurgents in the case of a possible Russian occupation of Estonia, The New York Times recently reported.

• NATO is preparing to deploy around 4,000 multinational troops across the Baltics and Poland to reassure Russian-bordering states that the security of its members is a priority, w
(Compiled by Christiana Freitag)
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