Home World Russian military activities: Sweden increases patrols in the Baltic Sea

Russian military activities: Sweden increases patrols in the Baltic Sea

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Russian military activities: Sweden increases patrols in the Baltic Sea

Saturday 15 January 2022

Russian military activities Sweden steps up patrols in the Baltic Sea

Sweden is not a member of NATO and Moscow has categorically refused to join. Stockholm is therefore reacting with alarm to the increased Russian military presence in the Baltic Sea: armored combat vehicles are patrolling the port city of Visby.
In view of increased “Russian activities” in the Baltic Sea, Sweden has sent several armored vehicles onto the streets of the island of Gotland and had soldiers patrol it. Around ten armored fighting vehicles and dozens of soldiers were in the small port town of Visby, the military said. A few days earlier, three ships of the Russian Navy entered the Baltic Sea through the straits of the Great Belt in Denmark. “The armed forces are taking the necessary measures to protect Sweden’s integrity and to demonstrate our ability to protect Sweden and Swedish interests,” Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said. The increased patrols on Gotland are a sign that Sweden is taking the situation seriously and “will not be taken by surprise,” Hultqvist told the TT news agency. The military said on Thursday evening that the units would be used “to reinforce operations in several locations” as “Russian activities in the Baltic Sea increase”. However, the Swedish Armed Forces Operations Director, Michael Claesson, denied that it was a targeted one Swedish “demonstration of power” act. He said the units were part of the force already stationed on the island. It is a “natural way to adjust the military presence”. Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it works closely with the alliance. Russia recently warned the country of “serious consequences” if it joins the alliance. Since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, Stockholm has ramped up its defenses again. In 2017, it reintroduced conscription.

“Creating a pretext for military invasion”

In view of a massive Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine, the West is concerned that Russia is currently preparing to invade the neighboring country. The Kremlin categorically rejects this. But according to the United States, Moscow is already working on creating a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine. “We have information indicating that Russia has already deployed a group of agents to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” government spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of inventing a pretext for an invasion.” The goal is to accuse Ukraine of “preparing an imminent attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.” Russian forces plan to start these activities a few weeks before a military invasion, which could start “between mid-January and mid-February”.


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