One of the greatest ever mobilisations of Nato forces now under way in Europe

22,000 additional Nato troops and their military equipment have been moved into eastern Europe

A week after Russia invaded Ukraine one of the greatest ever mobilisations of Nato member armed forces is under way.

About 22,000 additional Nato member troops have been moved into eastern Europe, bringing military equipment with them, while at least 20 countries – mostly Nato members – are supplying arms to Ukraine.

Even before the invasion Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg pointed out how alliance members had begun to increase its presence in the air, on land and at sea.

Now, for the first time, Nato has activated its rapid-reaction response force (NRF), comprising 40,000 troops, including from non-alliance countries such as Finland and Sweden.


"What we have done over the last weeks and months is to significantly increase our presence in the eastern part of the alliance: in the Baltic countries, in Romania, in Poland, " said Mr Stoltenberg on Tuesday. "We have activated Nato defence plans so we can more easily move troops throughout Europe – and we can further reinforce our presence in the east."

US vice-president Kamala Harris has spoken this week with all heads of government along Nato's eastern flank and "reaffirmed our iron-clad commitment" to Nato's mutual defence.

In these calls a spokesman for Harris said she reviewed “recent and upcoming US and Nato force posture adjustments in Europe, including the deployment of thousands of US troops and critical capabilities to reinforce our deterrence posture and collective defence”.


As EU shock over Russia's invasion gave way to resolve, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen noted on Tuesday that "European security and defence has evolved more in the last six days than in the last two decades".

In Germany the Russian attack has shattered historical taboos and forced a rethink of its pacifist tradition and culture of military restraint, with a new ¤100 billion defence spending plan.

Until last weekend Berlin refused the idea of supplying weapons that could be used against victims of Nazi totalitarianism. But on Saturday Germany shifted and is now supplying – directly or via third countries – grenade-launchers as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft rockets.

In 2011 Poland's then foreign minister Radek Sikorski – with an eye on growing Russian tensions with its neighbours – said he found "German inaction scarier than German action" in Europe.

A decade on, in a previously unthinkable move, German warplanes are flying armed patrols over Polish airspace. As well as refuelling allied jets over Poland and Romania – 400km from Crimea – German Tornado warplanes and a maritime patrol aircraft have been sent to patrol the Baltic Sea.

A overview of member activity and Nato deployments across the continent.

ROMANIA: 300 Belgian troops, 150 Dutch troops and a French NRF army battalion, as well as 12 Italian and six German Eurofighter jets.

POLAND: Unspecified number of French Rafale fighter jets and German Tornado reconnaissance planes patrolling Polish air space; 32 US attack helicopters to the Baltic States/Poland;15,000 US troops deployed mostly in the Baltic/Poland region, supplementing 5,500 Europe-based US troops moved eastward to Poland.

SLOVAKIA: Additional 250 German soldiers join 1,200 alliance troops; German "Patriot" air-defence system, manned by German soldiers, along with Dutch, Czech, Polish, Slovenian and US soldiers.

BULGARIA: Two Dutch F-35s deployed, four Spanish Eurofighter jets

BALTIC: 150 Spanish soldiers for Latvia as well as 30 Canadian soldiers, artillery & electronic warfare units; 100 extra Dutch soldiers, 60 Norwegians for Lithuania; 350 extra German soldiers deployed to Lithuania battlegroup, bringing the Bundeswehr presence to 1,200; four French Mirage fighter jets and 200 soldiers for Estonia, along with 1,000 UK troops and Challenger tanks. German P3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and a minehunter in the Baltic Sea

ON STANDBY: 3,400 Italian troops; 3,400 Canadian troops; four Dutch F-16 and four F-35s on Nato duty; 1,000 UK soldiers for humanitarian purposes; four Eurofighters to Cyprus; HMS Trent and HMS Diamond deployed to eastern Mediterranean; Canadian frigate and reconnaissance aircraft; Danish ground forces, domestic ships, extra jets stationed on the island of Bornholm.