Who would win a war between NATO and Russia? Lavrov accuses west of ‘pouring oil on fire’

Russia: Lavrov issues warning to New York

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said continual deliveries of supplies and weaponry to Ukraine means the NATO alliance has positioned itself as “in essence engaged in war with Russia” and accused the military alliance of “pouring oil on the fire”. The poor relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated continually as the war in Ukraine continues.

The prospect of a war between two of the world’s largest military powers is a grim one, but it has been warned such a scenario is not entirely unlikely at this tremendously negative time in international relations.

NATO has ruled out direct intervention in Ukraine, but the theatre of war could potentially spill over into countries neighbouring Ukraine and Russia, triggering NATO’s combined response to Russia’s outlandish aggression.

What’s more, as Mr Lavrov’s comments indicate, the further deployment of NATO weapons to Ukraine could eventually be enough to convince Russia to strike a nearby member country – which would activate NATO’s collective defence system.

What would war between Russia and NATO look like?

A war between NATO and Russia would be tantamount to World War 3.

The core principle of NATO is its system of collective defence – this means if any member state is attacked by a third party, then every member state must do its part to protect and defend it.

The biggest military power in NATO, and in the world, is the USA, which spends more than £500 billion on defence per year.

The country has more than a million active troops and some 800,000 in reserve, according to the New York Times.

The USA also has an overwhelming advantage over Russia in terms of conventional forces.

Russia still has incredible military might, even if it is not as large as NATO’s, with more than a million active troops.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) conducted research in 2019 and found the British Army and its NATO allies, not including the USA, are critically short of artillery and ammunition.

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This means they will struggle to maintain a credible defence position if the Russians decide to launch an all-out offensive.

However, any war between Russia and NATO is likely to be spearheaded by the American military, making such a scenario unlikely.

But who would win a war between NATO and Russia is significantly more complicated than simple numbers of forces and artillery.

Russian forces are performing badly in Ukraine, having lost an estimated 300 officers, including two major generals and the deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet, according to the non-Russian state-affiliated Moscow Times.

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has estimated some 15,000 of Moscow’s troops have died in the war so far.

The USA, combined with wider NATO forces, could likely outgun Russia’s entire army.

But the looming prospect of nuclear weapons being used significantly escalates the stakes, with Western forces much more likely to pursue diplomatic avenues for ending any conflict, rather than an all-out assault.

The USA has nuclear weapons on its own soil as well as on bases throughout Europe, including in Belgium, Germany, and Italy.

France and the United Kingdom also have their own nuclear weapons based within their respective territories.

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