A new town has sprung up in Lithuania. It has many of the components of any normal community: a school; a sports stadium; and even a police station…
But it is no ordinary town.
Lithuanian authorities have constructed it as a training centre to allow the country’s troops and NATO allies to practice urban warfare.
“During battles in cities, the enemy’s technological advantages fade away. The use of artillery and aviation is limited as in one street there might be enemy soldiers, but in another, your own soldiers,” Chief of the Lithuanian Army Vytautas Jonas Zukas explained.
Approximately the same size as 20 football pitches, the training centre is the first such complex in the Baltic states. In it soldiers will learn how to storm and protect buildings and use tunnels.
The Lithuanian Minister of Defence also extended an invitation to use the fake town to Latvia and Estonia.
“Our sisters Latvia and Estonia do not have this artificial city and we invite them to train here and to prepare a city defence together,” Juozas Olekas told the media.
Lithuania has overtly expressed concerns over potential military action by next-door neighbour Russia and has welcomed NATO plans to dispatch troops close to the border as a deterrent.