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Russia-Ukraine Conflict: NATO Activates Force For ‘First Time’ In History

The NATO Response Force (NRF) has been activated as a defensive measure in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

This is the first time the Response Force will be activated since it was formed in 2002 at the Prague summit.

All 30 members of NATO must agree to activate the force, which they had earlier agreed on Thursday.

The NATO Response Force, which consists of about 40,000 troops, is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces (SOF) components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed.

The activation of the response troops does not mean that any US or NATO troops will go into Ukraine, which is not a member.

US President Joe Biden has been clear that US troops are deploying to Eastern Europe to help bolster NATO countries nervous about Russia’s aggressive actions, and they will not be fighting in Ukraine.
“We have activated NATO’s defense plans to prepare ourselves to respond to a range of contingencies and secure Alliance territory, including by drawing on our response forces,” NATO heads of state and government said in a joint statement released Friday after the alliance held a virtual summit.

“We are now making significant additional defensive deployments of forces to the eastern part of the Alliance. We will make all deployments necessary to ensure strong and credible deterrence and defense across the Alliance, now and in the future.”

The Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of the NRF, called the force’s activation a “historic moment” according to a statement.

“They represent a flexible, combat-credible force that can be employed in multiple ways and we are utilizing their inherent agility,” Wolters said. “These deterrence measures are prudent and enhance our speed, responsiveness and capability to shield and protect the one billion citizens we swore to protect.”

In a message released Friday morning, Zelensky thanked NATO for its support but urged the alliance to do more, lamenting the fact that Ukraine was left to fend for itself.

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