Lithuania has constructed a fake town the size of 20 football pitches to allow it to practise its military readiness for a potential city attack and it is inviting its Baltic neighbors to visit and do the same, Euronews reports.
The town will be used for training purposes by Lithuania’s armed forces in order to simulate a Russian attack on the country’s territory.
The three Baltic NATO allies, made up of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, have been among the most concerned by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, worrying that Russia may use the narrative of protecting Russian-speakers in former Soviet territories against them.
The 16-hectare town is designed to resemble a small Baltic city, complete with a school building, a mall, a church, a police office, a sports stadium and 26 two-storey apartment buildings.
It stands near the city of Pabrade, which is only 6 miles from Lithuania’s border with Russian ally Belarus.
Lithuania has extended an invite to Latvia and Estonia to make use of the artificial city as well, believing that good urban organization can make all the difference against a more technically robust enemy.
“During battles in cities, the enemy’s technological advantages fade away,” Lithuanian army chief Vytautas Jonas Zukas said.
“The use of artillery and aviation is limited as in one street there might be enemy soldiers, but in another, your own soldiers.”
Since the annexation, NATO has focused on reinforcing the Baltic countries, each of which shares a border with Russia.
Earlier this year Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would “never” attack a NATO ally.