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Finland increases combat readiness due to possible Russian invasion

Finland increases combat readiness due to possible Russian invasion Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Finland has successfully tested its ability to manage a military economy and has begun storing military equipment outside its borders as Helsinki prepares for potential confrontation with an increasingly aggressive Russia, according to Financial Times.

Lieutenant General Mikko Heiskanen, deputy chief of staff for armaments and logistics of the Finnish armed forces, stated that Finland recently reviewed over 1,000 contracts with private companies for the production of equipment or provision of services in times of war.

"We need to be prepared for a long-term crisis . . . We have activated some of those, we have checked all of the agreements, we have tested procurement not just for ammunition but for other material. We are testing our strategic partners’ plans and readiness," he said.

He added that reserves of essential fuels and grains would last for at least six months, and air shelters are available for the entire population of the country. Nearly a third of the adult population are reservists, giving the country with a population of just 5.6 million one of the largest armies in Europe and the highest number of artillery pieces.

"It’s in our DNA. Russia respects power. Power consists both of the will and the capacity. The will is in place. The people’s will to defend the country is probably the highest in the world. The capacity — the material — is at a credible level. It takes years to build up this capacity. You cannot do it in a year or two," Heiskanen said.

He did not delve into specifics but as an example mentioned that a textile company could be instructed to produce bulletproof vests or other items for soldiers' protection in combat in the shortest possible time.

Military tensions in Europe

At the beginning of 2024, the information space was filled with reports of possible Russian preparations for aggression against NATO countries.

German media reported the beginning of preparations for a possible Russian attack. Some military maneuvers and troop movements were cited as evidence, lacking precise confirmation.

The reaction of NATO countries to these reports was ambiguous. Representatives of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense stated that they do not see a direct threat of attack from Russia. Their argument is that Russia is fully absorbed in the war in Ukraine and does not have the resources to open a new front.