Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2024
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The tiny Arctic town preparing for war with Russia as it could become ‘flashpoint’ for WW3 | World | News

A small town in the Arctic is preparing for war with Putin. Ivalo in Finland is just 20 miles of forest from the Russian border.

The military base near the town has been called NATO’s “Arctic Sparta”. It is the closest that US troops can be stationed to mainland Russia. It is a similar agreement to the ones the US has with Latvia, Norway and Estonia.

But it is feared that the border near Ivalo could become a flashpoint for war if Putin decides to act against the West.

The base is also just 200 miles from Russia’s Arctic Northern Fleet at the Port of Murmansk where nuclear submarines sit.

A former Finnish general has warned that Ivalo, Europe’s northernmost base, could be a major Kremlin target and all that stands in Putin’s way if he attacked Europe.

Former general and now MP Pekka Toveri told the Sun that if Putin’s army were to attack Ivalo or any other garrisons along Finland’s 832-mile-long border it would be a Russian bloodbath.

Pekka said: “Even though we have a long border with Russia we have an incredible capability to protect it against military attack. Yes we have a long border with Russia…but you have to remember that over 80 percent of that border is total wilderness.

“To attack there is extremely difficult and Russia tried that in both the Winter War and the Continental War and they learnt that it was a bad idea as they were encircled and destroyed.”

During the Winter War of 1939, the Nordic country’s rudimentary troops slaughtered 200,000 invading Russian soldiers. The Red Army was ill-equipped and unable to cope with the brutal winter while the small but resilient Finnish troops fought tooth and nail.

Finland remained neutral through the influence of the Soviet Union and into the 21st century. It took Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 for the country to push for Nato backing.

The country, with a population of just five million, has become one of the most combat-ready forces in Europe with all new apartment buildings needing bomb shelters and all new bridges needing to be able to withstand attacks.

General Pekka Toveri added: “At the same as keeping up defence capabilities we also took care of what we call comprehensive security, meaning the whole society is preparing for possible conflict.

“I always say that Finland doesn’t have a defence force, it is a defence force, and now when we are living in a time like this, it turns out to be the right solution. I’m confident (Russia) would fail (to attack the border). Every route you can possibly use to come to Finland we have prepared to defend those.

“Their lines of communication and logistics lines are impossible to protect, we have superiority on the ground and in the air.”

Finland trains more than 21,000 new conscripts every year, with 285,000 reservists ready to go to war at any given moment – making it the biggest wartime reserve infantry in Nato.

Putin said in 2023 that Russia “would take the necessary measures to counter the aggressive decisions of Finland and its NATO allies”.

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