British troops began a long-term deployment to Estonia on Saturday as Germany’s intelligence chief warned Russia had doubled its military presence on its Western border.
An advanced contingent of 120 British soldiers landed at Estonia’s Amari airbase late on Friday night as part of a new Nato deployment designed to deter Russia from attempting a repeat of its invasions of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in the Baltic.
Eight hundred British troops with Challenger 2 tanks, AS90 self-propelled guns, and Warrior armoured vehicles, will be based in the town of Tapa, 80 miles from the Russian border, from next month.
This is part of a planned exercise with French and other NATO forces in Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Additional British troops will be sent to Poland to augment American forces already stationed there.