'Suwalki Gap' key to NATO's eastern flank security

Polish paratroopers deploy over their drop zone during NATO's biggest ever war games in Eastern Europe -- June's Anaconda manoeuvres in PolandLakes, forest and villages dot the rolling hills along Poland’s 65-kilometre (40-mile) stretch of border with Lithuania, but for NATO’s top brass, this bucolic landscape gives cause for sleepless nights. Sandwiched between Russia’s highly militarised Kaliningrad exclave and Belarus, strategists dub the idyllic stretch of countryside the Suwalki Gap. Fears that Russia could attempt an attack surged after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a move which sent East-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.

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