Two European defense officials estimated there could be as few as 6,000 of the original 30,000 Russian ground forces left in Kaliningrad and near the Baltic region. Although that number could change if Russia brings new conscripts into the fold to backfill its forces being ground down in Ukraine, those conscripts are likely to be severely undertrained and poorly equipped.
“Today, the Russian threat to the Baltics is not what it was a year ago just because of how severely degraded the Russian forces are,” said Jim Townsend, an expert at the Center for a New American Security think tank and former senior U.S. Defense Department official. “But if you’re a small Baltic country, you can never let down your guard just because Russia is not performing well today.”
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