russiainvade

33,000 Russian troops rehearsed ‘the speedy seizure of northern Norway,’ other parts of Scandinavia this spring

Read Time:2 Minute, 30 Second

Shortly before Dmitry Rogozin was thumbing his nose at Norway by visiting Svalbard and hundreds of Russian soldiers were training on the ice north of the archipelago, a far more massive invasion of the area south of here was being practiced.

About 33,000 troops participated in a simulated blitzkrieg invasion of northern Norway and other parts of the region from March 21 to 25, according to a report published June 24 by the Center for European Policy Analysis, a U.S. security think tank. The report, analyzing the possibility of an invasion of the Baltic States by Russia, states the exercise was a scenario intended to limit NATO intervention.

“The scenario included the speedy seizure of northern Norway, the Åland islands (demilitarized Finnish territory, populated by Swedish-speakers), the Swedish island of Gotland and the Danish island of Bornholm,” wrote Edward Lucas, a former reporter for The Economist, who authored the report. “If carried out successfully, control of those territories would make it all but impossible for NATO allies to reinforce the Baltic states.”

Svalbard is not mentioned in the report, but Rogozin’s visit and Russia’s increasingly aggressive military activities along the borderlines of Norway’s Arctic have increased tensions between the two countries in recent months. Separate analysts have suggested Svalbard may be a prime target for Russian expansion since the country considers the Svalbard Treaty unfairly discriminatory.

In addition, Rogozin, who touched off a furor with his April visit despite being banned in Norway and other Western countries due to his role in the Ukraine crisis, has continued his provocation by making statements such as the Arctic and Crimea being “all about the same” and declaring the northern region to be Russia’s Mecca.

The large-scale exercise in March appears to be a continuation of an extreme propaganda war by Russia, said Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide in an interview with Verdens Gang.

We have a presence and a good situational awareness in our region, and are following developments closely,” she said. “As I have pointed out repeatedly, we are seeing increasing complexity in Russian’s exercise patterns in our region.”

The report recommends Norway and other Scandinavian countries bolster their defense readiness and resolve differences among themselves in that area.

“Norway, which has by far the largest interests in the Arctic, fears that the other countries do not understand the threats and opportunities it faces,” Lucas wrote.

But the report acknowledges the likelihood of such an invasion is slight and Katarzyna Zysk, an associate professor at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, told VG Russia appears to have a far stronger interest in the Baltic region.

“We have seen a number of provocative Russian exercises in the Baltic States by plane and ship,” she said. “As far as I know there has not been the same in the northern regions of Norway. There have been some cases, but not with the same degree of intensity as we have seen in the Baltic and the Black seas.”

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
lancefloebreaks Previous post Cracking down: Lance ends six-month expedition on thin ice as scientists save gear while floe shatters
Next post PDFs of every fishwrapper in our sorry history