In the Lithuanian town of Rukla, NATO troops are training for an emergency. For some residents and soldiers, the east-west conflict is already reality, for others, the threat from Russia is still abstract.

NATO combat troops have been present in the Baltic states and Poland since 2017. They are there to defend the Alliance’s eastern flank and repel a Russian attack. Over a period of almost one year, the film follows the task force in the small Lithuanian town of Rukla, where NATO has deployed 1000 soldiers. The troop’s readiness for combat is visible and audible every day; NATO manoeuvres and exercises are carried out all year round. Here, in a place where east meets west, everyone has an opinion. For Bundeswehr soldier Nina, who is stationed at the NATO base for six months, Russia is still an enemy without a name. Mayor of Rukla, Vilma, on the other hand, has been training her family in paramilitary defence tactics since 2014. She sees Russia as a real military threat to western Europe. For pensioner Georgi and his wife Marytje, on the other hand, all this is Western propaganda. Film-maker Steffi Wurster succeeds in portraying many different perspectives as personal paths. The unassuming town of Rukla maintains a balance between them. Rather than clashing, they seem understandable and equally important. But then the war in Ukraine escalates and previous certainties about the status quo in Europe cease to exist.