Russian T 14 panzers make a wide right turn on cobblestone streets in a small town in Latvia - heading for the Baltic sea.
Russia, in order to escape what she believes to be encirclement by Nato, will seize territory in eastern Ukraine, open up a land corridor to Crimea and invade the Baltic states.
And do it next year in 2017.
Former deputy commander of Nato, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff predicts it'll happen in a new shocker called 2017 War With Russia: An urgent warning from senior military command
His scenario is specific, naming Latvia as the first of the Baltic countries to be invaded, in May next year.
At the book launch at London’s Royal United Services Institute, he heavily caveated the scenario by saying it was still avoidable provided Nato took the necessary steps to pre-position forces in large enough numbers in the Baltic states. Nato is planning to make a start on just such a move at a Nato summit in Warsaw in July.
Faced with scepticism from journalists at the book launch – the Baltic states, unlike Ukraine, are members of Nato, and Russian action against any of them would in theory trigger a response – Shirreff said history was full of irrational decisions by leaders.
He said Putin could invade the Baltic states and then threaten nuclear action if Nato threatened to intervene.
Shirreff’s warning about the danger posed by Russia is echoed in the foreword by US admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander Europe, who writes: “Under President Putin, Russia has charted a dangerous course that, if it is allowed to continue, may lead inexorably to a clash with Nato. And that will mean a war that could so easily go nuclear.”
Shirreff insists that retention of a nuclear deterrent is essential. “Be under no illusion whatsoever – Russian use of nuclear weapons is hardwired into Moscow’s military strategy,” he writes.
He describes Russia as now the west’s most dangerous adversary and says Putin’s course can only be stopped if the west wakes up to the real possibility of war and takes urgent action.