Thousands of Russian soldiers along with tanks, warplanes, and missiles are now on alert in Russia’s western frontier with Europe amid heightened tensions with the West. Newest reports claim Russia is readying the “opening strike” in a war against NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

According to The Daily Star, Russia is said to be positioning its armies in such a way as to ensure a quick decisive victory over NATO in the event that a war breaks out. Russia appears to want to be prepared to make an opening attack should the talks fall through.

Fears of another world war have spiked on both sides, with each blaming the other for failing relations – such as Britain and Russia’s war of words over the poisoning Sergei Skripal. Defense experts at the Atlantic Council have now laid out the “significant threat” from Russia on the edge of Europe.

The NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg says that the decision to expel seven staff members from a Russian mission sends a “clear and very strong message there is a cost to Russia’s reckless actions,” reported The Guardian. But Russia isn’t going down that easily as they position their military for a war.

NATO has announced it is cutting the size of its Russian mission by a third in an effort to remove accreditation from seven Russian staff and rejecting three other pending applications. Stoltenberg said the permanent size of the Russian mission would be cut from 30 to 20 people, because of the poisoning of Skripal in Salisbury. He also claimed that Russia had underestimated NATO’s resolve and said the announcements would reduce Russia’s capability to do intelligence work across NATO.

And it appears that Russian has responded with positioning their military strategically to win a quick war with an opening strike. Western forces stationed in Europecurrently do not have the firepower needed to defeat Russia.

Only a handful of EU countries including Austria, Portugal, Greece, and Malta, have declined to take any steps against Russia. Many countries have confined themselves to a tokenistic expulsion of a single diplomat, a move designed to register support for the UK, as opposed to causing disruption to the Russian state.

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