Heavily-armed Finland fires warning to Vladimir Putin as nation vows to FIGHT if attacked – World News
The head of the Finnish Armed Forces said today that should the Kremlin order an attack, his compatriots would be forced to fight tooth and nail against Vladimir Putin’s troops
(Image: Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)
Finland has been preparing for a Russian attack for decades and will put up fierce resistance in the event of one, the armed forces chief said.
The Nordic country has built up a formidable arsenal. But aside from the military hardware, General Timo Kivinen said a key factor was that the Finns were motivated to fight.
“The most important line of defense is between the ears, as the current war in Ukraine proves,” Kivinen said in an interview.
Finland fought two wars in the 1940s against its eastern neighbor, with whom it shares a 1,300 km border.
Once a non-aligned country, it is now applying to join the NATO military alliance over fears that Russia could invade Ukraine as it did on February 24.
Since World War II, Helsinki has maintained a high level of military readiness.
“We have systematically developed our military defenses precisely for this type of warfare that is being waged there (in Ukraine), with a massive deployment of firepower, armored forces and also air forces,” Kivinen said.
“Ukraine was a tough nut (for Russia) and Finland would be too.”
Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)
About 100,000 Finns were killed during the two wars Finland waged against the Soviet Union, and it lost a tenth of its territory.
The nation of 5.5 million people has a wartime troop strength of about 280,000, of which 870,000 are reservists. It did not abolish conscription for men like many other Western nations did after the end of the Cold War.
It has also built some of Europe’s most powerful artillery and stocked up on cruise missiles with a range of up to 370 km (230 miles). It spends 2% of its GDP on defense, more than many NATO countries.
She ordered four new warships and 64 F-35 fighter jets from US armaments giant Lockheed Martin.
It plans to order up to 2,000 drones, its own high-altitude anti-aircraft equipment and build barriers on its border with Russia.
About 82% of respondents in a May 18 Defense Ministry poll said they would be willing to take part in national defense if Finland were attacked.
Nonetheless, Kivinen welcomed Finland’s decision to apply to join NATO. Finland and its Nordic country Sweden are in talks with Turkey to discuss its opposition to their requests.
Ankara is angered by alleged Helsinki and Stockholm support for Kurdish fighters and arms embargoes on Turkey.
NATO membership would allow Finland to strengthen its early warning capacity by becoming part of the alliance’s joint airspace control, Kivinen said.
Finland would also benefit from the deterrent of being part of an alliance where an attack on one member is an attack on the other
all of its members, he said.
Despite this, he said, “the primary responsibility for Finland’s defense still rests with Finland”.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/heavily-armed-finland-fires-warning-27302526 Heavily-armed Finland fires warning to Vladimir Putin as nation vows to FIGHT if attacked - World News