According to satellite images analyzed by Yle, four theaters have recently been built in Russian border military areas. These are three facilities in the Murmansk region above the Arctic Circle, about 50 km from the border with Finnish Lapland, and one in Petrozavodsk, about 300 km from the border.
– Our intelligence is well informed about what is happening in Finland’s neighbourhood, Defense Minister Andi Hakanen said about the national broadcaster’s reports.
“Finns can rest easy,” he said. According to him, constructed buildings are not a threat to Finland. Instead, the politician explained, they are used to store and service military equipment related to Russia’s operations in Ukraine.
Troops were sent to Ukraine from the Finnish border
A few weeks ago, Russian Defense Minister Seiji Shoigu said Russia would “strengthen” its military presence on the Finnish border due to Finland’s accession to NATO and Sweden’s simultaneous joining of the alliance.
– These projects have been announced and are being monitored with partners. Whether the objectives will be met will become clear in the coming years, Hakanen said, stressing that “Finland is prepared for various scenarios”.
Yle recalled that the Russian border forces had not been expanded for several years, and that by mid-2022, all local troops with combat capabilities had been sent to Ukraine. The report also pointed out that the Russians built the halls “exceptionally quickly” (one hall even within 24 hours). New technology and materials were used to create facilities that could “withstand severe frosts” in the north.
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