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 Donbas not the only place where Russia might lash out, - NATO

The Donbas is just one place among many where the Russians might lash out. Therefore, it’s particularly important for NATO to build up its deterrent force.

This was stated by United States Army Europe Commander, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Yevropeiska Pravda reports citing Breaking Defense.

"Ukraine is only a symptom of what's going on. Russia believes that they're entitled to a sphere where they can dictate what countries do," Hodges said.

According to him, that sphere encompasses new bases in the Arctic, a new base in Belarus, Russian advisors and weapons in separatist-held Ukraine, and Russian regulars on territories claimed by both Moldova (Transnistria) and Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia). A Russian official even made a nuclear threat against little Denmark.

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He recalled that former territories of the Russian Empire - Finland, Poland, the Baltic States - are particularly worried about Russia's activity.

"If you have had your nation disappear off the map because of Russia, I think you're entitled to a little bit of concern of it happening again," Hodges said.

He stressed that NATO countries should increase a deterrent force, conduct regular exercises, as the Russians build up the military.

"In order to deter a situation where they might decide to deny access, launch a snap exercise, and Little Green Men (Russian special forces - ed.) start appearing in Latvia, for example, or they start to seal off the gap (of Polish and Lithuanian territory - ed.) between Kaliningrad and Belarus, we've got to already be there," Hodges said.

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