In Lithuania, people just like us are spending time out in freezing conditions to learn basic and intermediate survival skills.
I’ve done a number of survival courses but they’re always because I want to, it’s a subject I’m interested in and enjoy. At Outdoor Revival we’re encouraged to do them and lots of other outdoor activities, but it’s all because we enjoy them (well, most of the time!) It’s not quite the same for the people of Lithuania.
Being next to Russia they are feeling threatened by their more aggressive neighbor and want to be able to provide for themselves in the event Russian troops do come across the borders and they are forced into hiding.
This is important for people like Rasa Miskinyte, who spends some of her time learning what to do if she and her family must flee to the woods. So far, she has learned how to collect standing water with a condom and how to filter it, with sand, charcoal, and cloth. She can also make her own cooking stove using things like beer cans.
Fear of invasion is not only felt in Lithuania but Latvia and Estonia also. They are watching Russia closely after Russia displayed its military might in Ukraine, Georgia, and Syria.
President Vladimir Putin is not shy in stating he would defend Russians no matter where they live. Whether he has meant it as a reassurance or a threat, the Baltic countries are feeling very nervous.
Many ethnic Russians live in the Baltic countries, having moved there when Russia was a lot larger and these countries were member states under the umbrella of the Soviet Union.
Some people are reassured by the stance of the UN in that they will be protected, but fears flare up, especially now as new US president Donald Trump has stated he may not help defend the Baltic countries from Russian invasions.
The government of Lithuania, in response to pleas from its public, has created a preparation manual; it includes information on how to recognize Russian weaponry and learn some basic survival skills.
Mainly, however, the population is taking its own steps to ensure its safety and continued survival. There are guerrilla warfare courses available across the country aa well as the basic survival courses.
As you can imagine, both are being well received by the Lithuanian youth.
Poland is also using thousands of volunteers to create a Territorial Defence Force and train in the new modern types of warfare we have today, including cyber warfare.
Lithuania has introduced a conscription army again. However, there are so many volunteers that they haven’t needed a draft. It is very clear that the people of these Baltic countries are willing to fight for their continuing independence.
Some of the ethnic Russians are pro-Putin and believe he will not attack the Baltic countries. They feel he is someone to be proud of and that through his work Russia is rising strongly once again.
National pride that was so damaged has been restored. These people that make up only a small proportion of the population love their countries and do not want to be torn by having to make a choice between home and Russia.
However, the natives of these Baltic countries are already starting to watch their neighbors and make distinctions as to who is who and where their loyalties may lie, regardless of official statements produced by the governments stating that the ethnic Russians are full citizens.
If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival facebook page
If you have a good story to tell or blog let us know about it on our FB page, we’re also happy for article or review submissions, we’d love to hear from you.
We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all with the Outdoor