: Guardian: West and Russia are on course for war, says ex-NATO deputy commander

14:19 May. 18, 2016

Guardian: West and Russia are on course for war, says ex-NATO deputy commander

A woman holds the Flag of the Soviet Navy and a portrait of Stalin near the memorial of the heroic defense of Sevastopol (1941-1942). (Getty Images)

Former British general predicts that Russia will seize territory in eastern Ukraine and invade Baltic states, sparking war

A startling claim that the west is on course for war with Russia has been delivered by the former deputy commander of NATO, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff.

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In a book published on Wednesday, 2017 War With Russia, Shirreff argues that the events in Crimea have destroyed the post-cold-war settlement and set the stage for conflict, in events that could begin to unfold next year.

In a chilling scenario, he predicts that Russia, in order to escape what it believes to be encirclement by NATO, will seize territory in eastern Ukraine, open up a land corridor to Crimea and invade the Baltic states.

Shirreff, who was deputy supreme allied commander Europe from 2011 to 2014, is risking his reputation by making such a bold prediction. But he claims his narrative is closely modelled on his Nato experience of war-gaming future conflicts.

He says the events he predicts will begin to unfold next year unless steps are taken to avoid them.

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He insists that retention of a nuclear deterrent is essential. "Be under no illusion whatsoever – Russian use of nuclear weapons is hardwired into Moscow's military strategy," he writes.

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