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Finland Prepared For Russian Assault Since Decades, Claims Chief Of Country's Armed Forces

Finland has been preparing for a Russian assault for decades and will put up a strong fight if it occurs, the head of country's armed forces claimed on June 22.


Image: AP

Finland has been preparing for a Russian assault for decades and will put up a strong fight if it happens, the head of the country's armed forces claimed on June 22. The Nordic nation has amassed a significant arsenal and apart from military weapons, General Timo Kivinen believes that the motivation of Finns to fight is crucial.

"The most important line of defence is between one's ears, as the war in Ukraine proves at the moment. We have systematically developed our military defence precisely for this type of warfare that is being waged there (in Ukraine), with a massive use of firepower, armoured forces and also airforces," Kivinen said in an interview, APA reported.

In the 1940s, Finland fought two wars with its eastern neighbour, with which it shares a 1,300-kilometre (810-mile) border. Helsinki has maintained a high degree of military preparation since World War II, according to media reports. 

During the two wars, 100,000 Finns were killed. Finland fought the Soviet Union and lost a tenth of its territory as a result. The country of 5.5 million people has a wartime troop strength of approximately 280,000, with 870,000 trained as reservists. It did not eliminate male military conscription, as many other Western countries did following the conclusion of the Cold War.

Finland has requested to join NATO's military alliance out of fear that Russia would invade it, after its invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24.

Finland has constructed Europe's most powerful artilleries & amassed a stockpile of cruise missiles

It has also constructed one of Europe's most powerful artilleries and amassed a stockpile of cruise missiles with ranges of up to 370 kilometres (230 miles). It spends 2% of its GDP on defence, which is higher than many NATO members. It is acquiring four new warships as well as 64 F-35 fighter fighters from Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defence company.  It intends to purchase up to 2,000 drones, as well as its own high-altitude anti-aircraft weapons, and is erecting fortifications along its border with Russia.

In a May 18 poll conducted by the defence ministry, 82% of respondents said they would be willing to join national defence if Finland was invaded. Further, Finland and its Nordic neighbour Sweden are in negotiations with Turkey about the latter's resistance to their applications. Ankara is enraged by Helsinki and Stockholm's alleged assistance for Kurdish insurgents and arms embargoes against Turkey.

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