TechRussia shifts key military assets from Finland to Ukraine

Russia shifts key military assets from Finland to Ukraine

Russian bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95 - illustrative photo
Russian bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95 - illustrative photo
Images source: © Planet Labs

11:41 AM EDT, June 21, 2024

Russia has moved most of its soldiers and military equipment stationed near the Finnish border to Ukraine, reports Defence Express, citing the Finnish public broadcaster Yle. The changes are visible even in satellite photos showing empty military bases. Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers, as well as S-400 systems, are needed more in other places.

Information about the disappearance of nearly 80% of Russian resources from military bases near the Finnish border was reportedly provided by an anonymous representative of Finnish intelligence. According to him, Russia is "gathering" its military personnel and equipment from the Finnish border and across the country, excluding the Moscow region. The most significant changes occurred at the technical base in Petrozavodsk. Significant differences were also noted at the base near Petrozavodsk. Between June 2023 and May 2024, dozens of equipment elements were taken from it. The Russians are withdrawing from NATO borders despite the Kremlin's narrative of growing threats from the Alliance.

Russia is withdrawing from NATO borders

In the bases located near the Finnish borders, there were previously bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons such as the Tu-160 and Tu-95, as well as S-400 Triumf missile systems. These are systems that Russia regularly uses in Ukraine. The S-400, a fourth-generation surface-to-air missile system developed by the Almaz-Antey Central Design Bureau, helps destroy aerial targets. It also intercepts aircraft, helicopters, drones, and ballistic missiles. Depending on the missile used, its range ranges from about 25 to even 235 miles. S-400 systems are one of the primary targets of Ukrainian attacks. Some theories suggest that Kyiv, by destroying such targets, is preparing for the arrival of Western F-16 fighters.

Among the "disappearing" military equipment are also Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers. These are designs developed by the Tupolev design bureau. The first of the mentioned machines is a strategic bomber or long-range reconnaissance aircraft, whose concept was born over 70 years ago, and production began in the mid-90s. The range of this machine is about 6,214 miles, and the altitude at which it can operate is close to 45,931 feet. The Tu-95 allows for carrying up to 15 tons of weaponry simultaneously. It is also capable of carrying nuclear payloads.

Tu-160 bombers are newer constructions. These supersonic strategic bombers are often used by the Russians as a nuclear deterrent and, according to them, are considered proof of the strength of Russian aviation. "White Swans" are machines with variable-geometry wings. These bombers, classified as some of the heaviest supersonic military aircraft in the world, can carry about 64,000 pounds of weaponry and fly at speeds reaching 1,367 mph.

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