the war in Ukraine has precipitated it: Finland pick up the pace to enter NATO breaking decades of not alignment. President, Sauli Niinistoand the prime minister, sanna marinhave spoken out in favor of ingress of the nordic country on the Atlantic Alliancean essential requirement to continue with the accession process. Russia has not been slow to make a statement: it considers Finland’s decision a “threat” for your “National securityFor this reason, it has warned that it will be forced to adopt “response measures, both technical-military and of another kind”.
“We were not surprised,” says the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Property Directorate, Tytti Tuppurainenabout the threat of war in europe behind the russian invasion a Ukraine. “We have prepared our society and we have been training for this situation since World War II,” he says, recalling that the Nordic country lived eight decades in the shadow of the Soviet Union and for 20 years, from the government of Vladimir Putin.
“Total defense” system
Finland became independent from Russia in 1917 and currently both countries share 1,340 kilometers from border. She created her armed forces in 1918 and, since then, his military doctrine remains unchanged: it is based on the concept of full defense. That means that all the departments of the government and all sections of Finnish society are involved in the planning of the defending of the Nordic country, not only the ministry on duty.
On the one hand, each portfolio is assigned a combination of powers and is responsible for planning its operations during a crisis. Thus, the government maintains power under any setback. On the other hand, Finland has a law which guarantees that all the resources of the society can be assigned to the armed forces to ensure the survival of the nation.
“We make sure that all sectors of the country know what to do: political decision-making, the role of banks, the church, industry, the media,” he explains. Janne Kuuselamanaging director of defense policy in it Ministry of Defenceto the ‘Financial Times‘. “The bottom line is that you can put the whole society into crisis mode if you need to,” she says.
For all these reasons, buildings above a certain size must have their own rair raid shelters. In addition, the rest of the population can use underground car parks, ice rinks and swimming pools that are ready to be converted into evacuation centers.
Finland has a citizen army
The Finnish Army is made up of 61,000 troops and 176,000 mobilized people. But the term global also includes the military service: it is mandatory from 1922 and its validity is not disputed. It lasts between six to 12 months, depending on the destination of the recruit.
Thus, Finland has a citizen army supported by an efficient mobilization system that in a short time can put thousands of soldiers on a war footing.
In fact, almost a third of the adult population of the country (about 900,000 people) is reservist. This means that Finland, with 5.5 million inhabitants, you can draw on one of the largest armies relative to its size in Europe. Russia has 140 million inhabitants, of which 900,000 are active soldiers and two million are reservists.
The Legacy of the Winter War
Much of Finland’s military readiness stems from its own war with Moscow, which has echoes in the invasion of Ukraine. Between 1939 and 1940, the Finns fought the Winter War to keep the Soviet Union at bay, but lost much of their territory as a result, including their most cosmopolitan city, Vyborg, and one of their main industrial areas.
Opinion polls suggest that around three-quarters of Finns are willing to fight for their country, the highest figure in Europe.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.