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Swedish and Norwegian military personnel rented Russian cottages during NATO exercises

Swedish and Norwegian military personnel rented Russian cottages during NATO exercises During NATO exercises, Swedish and Norwegian military personnel rented Russian cottages (photo: GettyImages)

Swedish and Norwegian military personnel, during NATO exercises, stayed in cottages owned by the Russian elite. They were located at the center of the military base, according to TV2.

In the centre of the Norwegian military base in the north, there is a group of houses owned by Russians. The cottages overlook the military airbase in Bardufoss, where Norwegian units and allies regularly conduct training.

The owners of these cottages are members of the Russian ruling elite and representatives of the party of dictator Vladimir Putin: the mayor of Murmansk, Igor Morar, and Viktor Saygin, who has close ties to the Russian military.

In the mountain village, they claim they were unaware of the connection of the Russian owners to the Russian regime.

A representative of the security police press office, Eirik Veum, confirmed that they are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the cottages together with the Norwegian armed forces.

"When the landlords are Russian citizens who may be associated with the Russian regime, it doesn't matter who they rent the house to. But we are involved not only because of the lease," Veum said.

Neither the Ministry of Defense nor the security service were willing to comment on the specific territory of the cottage, but the police emphasized that the purchase of such real estate could pose a security problem.

NATO military exercises

In the first half of 2024, NATO is conducting a series of exercises under the common codename Steadfast Defender-24. Poland will be one of the host countries, accommodating a significant number of soldiers and equipment from allies. As part of Steadfast Defender-24, Poland will also host national exercises called Dragon-24, with the participation of armed forces from other countries.

From March 4 to 15, large-scale military exercises of NATO countries called Nordic Response 24 took place in northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Approximately 20,000 servicemen from 14 countries participated in them.

According to the Pentagon, US Army ground forces are also participating in Steadfast Defender 24 exercises. They will continue until May 31.