Commander-in-Chief Warns: Russia’s Focus on Gotland is Intensifying

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.24 - 2024 9:11 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
"Russia has always had its eyes on Gotland and it will continue," says Commander-in-Chief Micael Bydén.

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During a command field exercise on Gotland, the large Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, Commander-in-Chief Micael Bydén highlighted Russia's ongoing interest in the strategically important island, especially amid increasing hybrid operations in the region.

Bydén's observations came as he and around 20 officials gathered to discuss Sweden's defense strategies.

"Russia has always had its eyes on Gotland and that will continue," Bydén stated, according to SVT Nyheter. He pointed out that Russia's tactics include hybrid attacks and border provocations, aimed at disrupting and challenging the international order.

Baltic Sea Dynamics

Bydén also noted the shift in the Baltic Sea's strategic landscape following Sweden’s entry into NATO.

With the Baltic Sea now predominantly surrounded by NATO member states, Russia's maneuverability in the region has been further restricted. This change requires a reassessment of defense and security strategies to address evolving threats.

The field exercise at the Gotland regiment brought together military leaders and heads of various authorities, including Deputy Riksbank Governor Anna Breman, to evaluate Sweden's overall defense and civil preparedness. Discussions focused on understanding and preparing for current and future security challenges.

"We examine information and planning in ways not possible under normal circumstances. We open our books to create an understanding of the current situation and future scenarios," Bydén explained.

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