Amid NATO's efforts to bolster its eastern flank against a military buildup by Moscow, a 75-page guerilla manual was prepared by Lithuanian officials to prepare its citizens for a potential Russian incursion. The manual explains ordinary Lithuanians how to become a guerilla fighter against Russians and survive if hiding in the forest.
"It is important that civilians have the will to resist, this will make it more difficult for the aggressor country to feel comfortable," the manual notes, as reported by Russia Today (RT).
The manual lists some items a guerilla fighter needs in the forest in order to survive like energy bars, wet wipes, candles, matches, et cetera.
NATO member Lithuania launched a telephone hotline for citizens to report anyone they suspect could be involved in intelligence gathering for foreign powers, namely its Soviet-era master Russia. The move is part of a wider public information campaign warning citizens about the risks of being used or recruited by foreign spies.
It comes amid a string of Cold War-style espionage affairs involving Russians in eastern NATO member nations and intensified East-West tensions in the wake of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
"Military threats and propaganda war have been widely addressed... but the activities of hostile intelligence agencies also pose a very great danger to the state and every Lithuanian citizen can become a target," Darius Jauniskis, director of the state security department, said in a statement issued this week.
According to Vilnius University political scientist Margarita Seselgyte, as a small state – its population is just 2.9 million, Lithuania is particularly vulnerable to spies. "This vulnerability is one of Lithuania's main weaknesses," she told AFP news agency. "Russia is using hybrid techniques, sending messages to our society. We must act to warn our citizens about the risks they face." Describing the decision to create a hotline an "audacious" move, Seselgyte insisted that it will be worth the effort "even if only one call proves to be important."
Lithuanian prosecutors said in July that a Russian spy attempted to recruit Lithuanian officials to bug the home of President Dalia Grybauskaite. Earlier this year, Russian courts sentenced two Lithuanian nationals to 13 and 12 years in prison for spying on Moscow.
As ongoing fear of Russia drives Lithuania and other Baltic countries closer to NATO, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that her country would provide the bulk of the roughly 1,000 troops being deployed to Lithuania. Berlin will send up to 600 soldiers, as well as Leopard 2 battle tanks, according to defense ministry sources. Lithuania and its neighbors Latvia and Estonia joined NATO in March 2004.
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