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Media: Latvia starts digging anti-tank ditch near border with Russia

by Kateryna Denisova May 3, 2024 6:08 PM 2 min read
"Stop - state border" written in three languages on the Latvian-Belarusian border near Kaplava, Latvia, Nov. 17, 2021. (Photo credit: Alexander Welscher/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The Latvian army has started to dig an anti-tank ditch as part of its first defensive line near the border with Russia, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reported on May 2.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sparked concerns that the Baltic states, which are among Moscow's biggest critics and Kyiv's staunchest allies since day one of the all-out war, could become the next target of Russia's aggression.

These fears are reinforced by Russian President Vladimir Putin's repeated threats to NATO countries.

A chain of strongholds will be set up along Latvia's border with Russia and Belarus, including defensive fortifications, various obstacles, and ammunition depots, according to LSM.

The first defensive line is being built near the Terekhovo border crossing in Ludza municipality at a distance of around a kilometer from the border with Russia.

"We are digging up the road and making an anti-tank ditch here so that vehicles cannot move along this road. Including tanks," said Lieutenant Colonel Kaspars Lazdins, engineering inspector of Latvia's National Armed Forces.

"This ditch has specified parameters, and it has the appropriate depth to fulfill its task."

Latvia's “anti-mobility plan” includes both artificial and natural obstacles such as forests and rivers, according to Lazdins. Barriers are built without explosives and minefields may be laid in case of hostilities, he added.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania agreed in late January to build a Baltic defense line in the coming years to strengthen the eastern border with Belarus and Russia.

The U.S. Congress passed a bill allocating $228 million in military aid to Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia earlier this year.

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