Russian military moves closer to Europa: Sets up bases near Finnish borders

Written by Jakob A. Overgaard

Sep.10 - 2023 8:11 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
In recent developments, Russia has initiated the establishment of military bases in proximity to its border with Finland. This move has been captured through satellite imagery, revealing the construction of new facilities designed for the upkeep and storage of military equipment.

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These facilities are located at the Alakurtti garrison and the military depot in Petrozavodsk.

The Finnish media, specifically Yle, has released these images, highlighting the evident changes. Notably, there's an increasing transfer of equipment from Petrozavodsk to Ukraine. This recent infrastructure development marks Russia's renewed interest in fortifying its military bases near the Finnish border, a strategy that had been dormant for several years.

Finnish Defence Minister, Antti Häkkänen, has commented on these findings, stating that the modifications observed in the satellite images do not signify any immediate threat to Finland.

Offering a different perspective, Retired Finnish Army Major Marko Eklund suggests that the primary function of the Petrozavodsk military depot is likely the refurbishment and dispatch of equipment to the Ukrainian front. He further elaborated that the structure built is probably for maintenance purposes, providing shelter for equipment during the harsh autumn and winter seasons.

In light of Finland's recent membership in NATO, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has declared intentions to bolster its military forces near the Finnish border. This move is seen in the backdrop of Finland's commitment to defense spending, with the government's draft budget for 2024 proposing an allocation of 2.3% of its GDP to defense, aligning with the North Atlantic Alliance's requirements.

Finland's contribution to NATO's collective defense during peacetime is yet to be determined, with decisions expected to be made this autumn.