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Finland’s plans to stop Russia

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2,000 drones, 64 F-35 fighters, four new ships and powerful artillery: this is how Finland says it can stop Russia

Finland has been preparing for decades for a Russian attack and would put up strong resistance if it were to occur. The head of its Finnish armed forces, whose country has applied for NATO membership to protect itself against a possible attack or aggression from Moscow, has made this clear.

The Nordic country has amassed a substantial arsenal. But apart from military equipment, a crucial factor is that the Finns would be motivated to fight.

Finland fought two wars in the 1940s against its eastern neighbor, with which it shares a 1,300-km border. Some 100,000 Finns died during Finland’s two wars against the Soviet Union and it lost a tenth of its territory.

Finland has for decades been a non-aligned country, but in the coming months they could join the North Atlantic military organization.

Helsinki has maintained a high level of military preparedness since World War II. They have systematically developed their military defense precisely for this kind of war being fought in Ukraine, with large-scale use of firepower, armored forces and also air forces. Ukraine has been a tough bite to chew for Russia and so would be Finland.

With 5.5 million people, the country would have a wartime force of about 280,000 soldiers with 870,000 people as reservists. Finland did not abolish compulsory military service for men as many other Western countries did after the end of the Cold War.

It has also built one of the most powerful artilleries in Europe and has stocked up on cruise missiles with a range of up to 370 km. It spends 2% of its GDP on defense, a higher level than many NATO countries.

Finland has ordered four new warships as well as 64 F-35 fighter jets from U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin.

It plans to buy up to 2,000 drones, its own high-altitude anti-aircraft equipment and is building barriers on its border with Russia.

Like Sweden, it is in talks with Turkey to discuss the latter’s opposition to its NATO membership applications.

Ankara has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Turkey. NATO membership would allow Finland to increase its early warning capability by being part of the alliance’s joint airspace control. Finland would also benefit from the deterrence of being part of an alliance in which an attack on one member is an attack on all its members.

However, the Finns are well aware that the main responsibility for Finland’s defense will remain with Finland.

 

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