While the Russian president is in Kaliningrad checking the combat-readiness of Russian troops for various Baltic-war scenarios few see the danger:
“The risk of a war in Europe is greater today than it was a year ago because the allies have not used the time since the Wales summit to send an unequivocal message of reinforcement and deterrence along NATO’s Russian flank. Putin is still confident the game of escalation and de-escalation is his to play.
It is ultimately academic to try to second-guess Putin’s ultimate goals, and debate whether he will be satisfied with the current territorial gains in Ukraine or move further. What we do know is that the power imbalance in the Nordic-Baltic-Central European region makes the threat of war real, and that without permanent U.S. and allied bases in countries along NATO’s frontier there can be no sufficient deterrence against a putative Russian move, whether hybrid or conventional.”