Sweden Bolsters Military Presence on Key Baltic Island, Citing ‘Increased Russian Activity’

Europe

The island of Gotland, Sweden’s largest, has previously been identified as a likely entry point and a springboard for a “Russian invasion”, however unlikely that might be.

A military garrison on the island of Gotland has been bolstered, citing increased Russian military activity in the southeastern Baltic Sea, national broadcaster SVT has reported.

The Swedish reinforcements include both army units, air forces and naval forces. According to SVT, the reinforcements include sensors, off-road and armoured vehicles, air defence units, ships, and Gripen aircraft.

Without going into detail, Ängshammar confirmed that the military has increased its preparedness as a result of “Russian activity”.

“Some of what Russia is doing was already known. Some things weren’t”, Ängshammar said.

At the same time, he emphasised that the threat assessment against Sweden remains unchanged.

“The risk of an armed attack is low. If you look at it in a longer perspective, however, there is an increase in Russian operations and we are keeping an eye on this”, he added.

Vice Admiral Jan Thörnqvist, head of operations, confirmed increased “Russian activity”, but mentioned an increased presence of “other countries” as well.

“We patrol and show that we are here. We don’t want to disclose how big the squad is”, communications manager Tomas Ängshammar said.

SVT speculated that the Swedish reply may have been triggered by the Russian drill Zapad-21, as well as “the crisis in…

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