Russian forces ‘practised invasion of Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden’
During an exercise in March, Russian troops rehearsed how to invade four regional neighbours
Russian forces are reported to have rehearsed the invasion of Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden Photo: Getty Images
Russian forces rehearsed the invasion of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark during a military exercise involving 33,000 troops, according to a new study of Baltic security.
The manoeuvres, which took place in March, assumed that a Western-backed uprising against President Vladimir Putin was taking place in Moscow. Under the scenario posited by the exercise, Russia responded by launching a simulated assault on four regional neighbours.
Some troops practised attacking Norway with the aim of seizing an area in the north of the country. Other Russian forces rehearsed the capture of the Aland islands from Finland. More units drilled how to seize Gotland island from Sweden and Bornholm island from Denmark.
These Baltic territories lie across vital shipping lanes, making them key military objectives. The capture of these islands would allow Russia to seal off the Baltic and isolate Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
“If carried out successfully, control of those territories would make it all but impossible for Nato allies to reinforce the Baltic states,” wrote Edward Lucas, the senior vice-president of the Centre for European Policy Analysis and the author of the report.
Of the countries targeted by this Russian exercise, Denmark and Norway are members of Nato, while Finland and Sweden are officially neutral. Mr Lucas argues that all four should enhance their military cooperation with other vulnerable states, particularly Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
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