NewsRussia escalates tensions with NATO by deploying nukes near Finland

Russia escalates tensions with NATO by deploying nukes near Finland

Nuclear border. Russian weapons aimed at Finland.
Nuclear border. Russian weapons aimed at Finland.
Images source: © Licensor

7:14 AM EDT, April 23, 2024

The Russian military has deployed tactical nuclear weapons on the border with Finland, which joined NATO in April of the previous year and abandoned its neutral status. "In the bordering region of Karelia, Iskander-M operational-tactical systems have been deployed," reports Izvestia, citing sources in the defense ministry.

Many reports from Russian media or government representatives are part of propaganda. These reports are elements of the informational war led by the Russian Federation.

According to "The Moscow Times," the systems positioned near the Finnish border can launch maneuvering and ballistic missiles, including those capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Iskanders have been incorporated into a separate missile brigade, which, in turn, has become part of the newly established Leningrad Military District.

Izvestia's sources report that "The Leningrad Military District also includes the 11th and 14th Army Corps, stationed in the Kaliningrad and Murmansk oblasts."

Finland's entry into NATO prompts military response

"The establishment of a missile brigade is a response to Finland joining NATO," stated former commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Valuev. "Currently, Russia's border with NATO countries has extended by almost 807 miles, and the alliance possesses the largest artillery contingent in Europe, consisting of 1.5 thousand units, including 700 howitzers, 700 large-caliber mortars, and 100 rocket systems," Valuev claims.

At the end of last year, Finland signed a defense cooperation agreement with the United States, making 15 facilities and zones available for American soldiers to store military equipment and ammunition. These include four airbases, a military port, and a railway line in the country's north. Depots for military equipment will be situated along routes leading to the border with Russia.

"The re-establishment of the Leningrad Military District, dissolved during the military reform at the beginning of 2010, suggests that the Kremlin is preparing for large-scale war with NATO in the long term," experts from the American Institute for the Study of War believe.

Moscow tightens control over borders with Poland and Ukraine

Until recently, the entire western border of the Russian Federation was under the watch of the Western Military District. This situation diluted the "strategic center of gravity" of the Russian forces, notes ISW. By a decree from Vladimir Putin on February 26, the Western Military District was split into two districts: Moscow now supervises the border with Ukraine and Poland, while Leningrad oversees the northeastern NATO frontier.

"This reorganization will enable the army to simultaneously manage engagements in Ukraine and secure strategic positions to NATO member countries," ISW believes. The institute's experts also recall that "the Kremlin justified the creation of the Leningrad Military District citing NATO's new members – Finland and Sweden."

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