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Tags nato , Russia-Finland relations , Russia-Sweden relations , Russia-Ukraine war , vladimir putin

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Old 21st April 2022, 03:48 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Ethan Thane Athen View Post
Really? I acknowledge the training would have undoubtedly been better but I thought (from memory, so not necessarily reliable) that the main difference was their respective ranges ie you could shoot the enemy tanks from a distance at which they couldn't shoot back?
Yes, the Abrams and the Challengers outranged the Iraqi tanks and they could engage at long range in the dark whereas the Iraqi tanks couldn't.

In the second Gulf war a Challenger 2 knocked out an Iraqi tank at the longest recorded engagement range. On a related point, a Challenger 2 in one engagement had 14 recorded hits on it by RPGs and a Milan anti-tank missile. It was put out of action for just 6 hours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILAN
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Old 21st April 2022, 04:41 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Cue minor border skirmish by Russia to ensure Finland is "in dispute" with another country. Wasn't that why Ukraine couldn't join?
Doesn't matter, it can still be allowed to enter, but can't trigger Article 5. Ukraine's problem before was the Azov neo-Nazis. A fair portion of those are now dead in the fighting, and the issue is totally eclipsed by the actions of the Putin and the Orks.
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Old 21st April 2022, 05:11 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
The majority looks very clear with only Vasemmistoliitto (the Left Alliance) as a major exception. Hopefully the parliament would deal with this very quickly and we could send the application as soon as possible. I'm hoping for the first week of May.
Just in time for the 9th of May!
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Old 21st April 2022, 05:58 PM   #244
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Putin and the Orks would make a great ska band name.
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Old 21st April 2022, 06:00 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
When I was in Bosnia, I was in a brigade that consisted of soldiers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Poland, despite Sweden not being in NATO. The brigade was called the Nordpol Brigade. Really.

There is a security level called NATO Top Secret, which means it can only be shared with other NATO countries, which meant Sweden didn't get full security briefings, but other than that they worked as an integrated member of the NATO forces.

So for Sweden, at least, I know they took part in Bosnia under NATO command.
Interestingly, the Russians had a Brigade under IFOR command, too (although I think there was some face-saving arrangement that allowed them to say they weren't under NATO command)

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Old 21st April 2022, 09:01 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
Just in time for the 9th of May!
That would admittedly be great timing I think it will depend on the various committees. At the moment we have 112 MPs for and 13 against of 200. The government aims for 2/3 majority which seems a foregone conclusion.
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Old 22nd April 2022, 03:52 AM   #247
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https://twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/st...11330322403334

Quote:
Darth Putin
@DarthPutinKGB

Have warned Finland & Sweden that if they join NATO I will be forced to sink my ships near their coast as well.
1:01 PM · Apr 21, 2022·Twitter for Android
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Old 25th April 2022, 12:38 AM   #248
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This is rather overblown but it is true that the atmosphere in Finland has pretty totally changed in just a matter weeks...

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation...sion-by-russia
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Old 25th April 2022, 04:15 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
This is rather overblown but it is true that the atmosphere in Finland has pretty totally changed in just a matter weeks...

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation...sion-by-russia
It's interesting that all of these articles never ever mention the Continuation War which lasted over three years. Nor that the Battle of Talli-Ihantala remains history's biggest ever battle in Nordic countries.

Quote:
Wariness of Russia dates back to 1809, when Russia added Finland to its empire after winning it in a war with Sweden. Finland declared independence in 1917, while Russia was distracted by revolution, but 22 years later the Soviets invaded.
ibid

It seems the entire western press simply copies and pastes each other.

IMV Niinisto has long considered joining NATO and the purchase of a couple of F-35's stealth jets from the USA with an order for 64 in all preceded Putin's threats and invasion. It was something Finland planned to do int he near future anyway. The Ukraine war has simply forced the hands of the Left parties, who are stlll a bit resistant.
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:12 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It's interesting that all of these articles never ever mention the Continuation War which lasted over three years.
That's when they were allies with Germany and fighting with alongside the Nazis.
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:28 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
That's when they were allies with Germany and fighting with alongside the Nazis.
Altogether morally more ambivalent situation - we even had Jewish soldiers who were awarded the Iron Cross. Most refused. And a field synagogue some kilometres away from the German positions. Absurd times. In the end Stalin attacked us first, so we made a pact with the devil.
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:29 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
That's when they were allies with Germany and fighting with alongside the Nazis.
Nonsense. Having the choice of being occupied by the USSR, as in Stalin's pact with Hitler in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and Hitler's Germany (which had by now occupied the whole of Europe apart from Sweden, Finland and the UK), Finland was between a rock and a hard place.

Germany called in its favour in having helped Finland in the Civil War between the Bolshevik Reds and the ultra-conservative Whites (whose military officers Germany trained in its Junker schools in north Germany) and order Finland to let it use Finland as a route for its army to reach Leningrad in its northern arm of Operation Barbarossa. The Finnish Generals, including Field Marshall Mannerheim, victor of the whites in 1918 (= the same time as the Great War, WWI, world wide, which Germany lost) were old acquaintances of the Germany Generals so I dare say they collaborated together outwith the government auspices. Given the opportunity to win back the land conceded unfairly in the Winter War, Finland did seize the opportunity to try to seize further land, which it perceived as being Finnish tribes, who spoke languages very similar to Finnish, if not essentially the same (more of a dialect).

Finland was not part of Operation Barbarossa and was not involved officially in the Seige of Leningrad, which is why historically, academically and officially, Finland is described as being co-belligerents not allies or even part of the axis, despite what the Paris Treaty might have said. As proof of this, the Germans destroyed Finnish Lapland when it lost Stalingrad and hence the war, and the USSR ordered Finland to expel the Germans. To reiterate, Finland were not allies of Germany and did not fight alongside them in Hitler's grand Barbarossa scheme.

I hope that clears up an oft held misconception.
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:31 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Altogether morally more ambivalent situation - we even had Jewish soldiers who were awarded the Iron Cross. Most refused. And a field synagogue some kilometres away from the German positions. Absurd times. In the end Stalin attacked us first, so we made a pact with the devil.
Himmler was famously smitten with Finland and came along to find out more about folk mythology. Himmler asked the Finnish PM about the 'Jewish question' and was told shortly and bluntly that Finland did not recognise any Jewish problem.
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Old 25th April 2022, 05:44 AM   #254
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Well, I would say that we clearly were a military ally of Germany - though especially after the summer 1941 of increasingly unenthusiastic ally, not willing to undertake any more big offences. And we had anyway gotten back the occupied areas, with interest. Mannerheim seems to have realized in the spring of 1942 that Germany can't win the war, Ryti probably to. They both kept hoping for a repeat of 1917-18: the collapse of both Russia and Germany. Sadly, it was not to be.
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Old 25th April 2022, 07:38 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Altogether morally more ambivalent situation - we even had Jewish soldiers who were awarded the Iron Cross. Most refused. And a field synagogue some kilometres away from the German positions. Absurd times. In the end Stalin attacked us first, so we made a pact with the devil.
Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, I would say that we clearly were a military ally of Germany - though especially after the summer 1941 of increasingly unenthusiastic ally, not willing to undertake any more big offences. And we had anyway gotten back the occupied areas, with interest. Mannerheim seems to have realized in the spring of 1942 that Germany can't win the war, Ryti probably to. They both kept hoping for a repeat of 1917-18: the collapse of both Russia and Germany. Sadly, it was not to be.
This informs my attitude towards India today, which is facing off against Pakistan and China, and does business with Russia to keep pace with those threats.

The craziest thing about this arrangement is that India can afford to buy more and better Russian gear than Russia can.
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Old 25th April 2022, 12:42 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Nonsense. Having the choice of being occupied by the USSR, as in Stalin's pact with Hitler in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and Hitler's Germany (which had by now occupied the whole of Europe apart from Sweden, Finland and the UK), Finland was between a rock and a hard place.

Germany called in its favour in having helped Finland in the Civil War between the Bolshevik Reds and the ultra-conservative Whites (whose military officers Germany trained in its Junker schools in north Germany) and order Finland to let it use Finland as a route for its army to reach Leningrad in its northern arm of Operation Barbarossa. The Finnish Generals, including Field Marshall Mannerheim, victor of the whites in 1918 (= the same time as the Great War, WWI, world wide, which Germany lost) were old acquaintances of the Germany Generals so I dare say they collaborated together outwith the government auspices. Given the opportunity to win back the land conceded unfairly in the Winter War, Finland did seize the opportunity to try to seize further land, which it perceived as being Finnish tribes, who spoke languages very similar to Finnish, if not essentially the same (more of a dialect).

Finland was not part of Operation Barbarossa and was not involved officially in the Seige of Leningrad, which is why historically, academically and officially, Finland is described as being co-belligerents not allies or even part of the axis, despite what the Paris Treaty might have said. As proof of this, the Germans destroyed Finnish Lapland when it lost Stalingrad and hence the war, and the USSR ordered Finland to expel the Germans. To reiterate, Finland were not allies of Germany and did not fight alongside them in Hitler's grand Barbarossa scheme.

I hope that clears up an oft held misconception.
Whatever helps.
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Old 25th April 2022, 01:04 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Whatever helps.
Seems pretty clear that it did indeed help Finland quite a bit. What's your problem with the strategic trade-offs they ended up making? It's not like they chose to back the bad guys against the good guys. They were caught between two bad guys, and had precious little outside help for their predicament.
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Old 25th April 2022, 04:46 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, I would say that we clearly were a military ally of Germany - though especially after the summer 1941 of increasingly unenthusiastic ally, not willing to undertake any more big offences. And we had anyway gotten back the occupied areas, with interest. Mannerheim seems to have realized in the spring of 1942 that Germany can't win the war, Ryti probably to. They both kept hoping for a repeat of 1917-18: the collapse of both Russia and Germany. Sadly, it was not to be.
FOr the record I think Finland was 100% right in fighting the Winter War, but that the Continuation War was a mistake.
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Old 25th April 2022, 08:39 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
FOr the record I think Finland was 100% right in fighting the Winter War, but that the Continuation War was a mistake.
Well, it was a mistake not easy to avoid. Molotov was still demanding free hands in Finland as late as in November 1940 in Berlin, only Hitler's no saved us from the second invasion. And for the spring 1941 the Auswärtiges Amt was spreading disinformation that Germany would only demand concessions in Ukraine in a second Molotov-Ribbentrop, so Finland couldn't have been sure that it would not end up again as a pawn on the negotiation table. As a concequence we attached ourselves as tightly to Barbarossa as we could.

And being where we were it would have been nightmarish to try to stay neutral anyway - both sides would have surely routinely violated our area in any case with the Soviets in Hanko and Finns in Petsamo. Still, it was a desperate gamble and thank god Germany lost, for Finland would have turned into rather a nasty place in the New Order - and not remained a Nordic democracy like we did in real life.
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Old 25th April 2022, 10:21 PM   #260
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Putin is finding out about the law of unintentional consequences: A major reason for Putin starting this war was he did not want another NATO country bordering Russia;now he will have a new one that is an Hour's drive from St Petersburg.
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Old 30th April 2022, 11:59 AM   #261
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A Russian military plane entered Swedish airspace again today.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 12:46 AM   #262
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Quote:
Finland will decide to apply for Nato membership on 12 May, according to a local media report.

Citing anonymous government sources, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reports the decision to join will come in two steps on that day, with the nation’s president Sauli Niinisto first announcing his approval for the Nordic neighbour of Russia to join the western defence alliance, followed by parliamentary groups giving their approval for the application.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed Finland and Sweden to the verge of applying for Nato membership and abandoning a belief held for decades that peace was best kept by not publicly choosing sides.

Reuters reports it has not immediately been able to verify the details provided by Iltalehti.

Under the Finnish constitution, the president leads Finland’s foreign and security policy in cooperation with the government.

The decision will be confirmed in a meeting between the president and the government’s key ministers after the president and parliament’s initial announcements, Iltalehti reports.

Russia, with which Finland shares an 810-mile (1,300-km) border and a pre-1945 history of conflict, has warned it will deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in its Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad if Finland and Sweden decide to join the alliance.
Source
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Old 2nd May 2022, 02:41 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
You have to remember Ilta- Lehti is a tabloid, rather like the SUN. I am sure it does have 'inside sources'. However, bear in mind, it was Ilta- Lehti and the Swedish tabloid Expressen which claimed the decision ahd already been made and that the two countries had decided to apply at the same time, which was then taken up by BBC and Reuters, but actually hasn't been voted on in parliament yet!

I am sure it is virtually a done deal but it is rather like declaring Manchester Untied has beaten Huddersfield Town when they are not even due to play until next Saturday, even if it is odds-on probable.

Fake news, IMV, in that it is not confirmed by an official source, even if all the newspapers are repeating it as 'It has been reported by Ilta-Lehti'.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 03:36 AM   #264
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The ghost of Lenin fights back!

The Lenin bust due to be removed from Turku city centre due to the Ukrainian invasion will be delayed because the Workers are going on strike!

Quote:
The removal of Lenin's bust from Puolalanmäki will be delayed due to the municipal strike starting tomorrow, the City of Turku reports.

Turku Mayor Minna Arve made the decision to remove the Lenin statue last week. The bust, pedestal and plaque next to the statue were to be removed as soon as possible.

- The statue isn't going anywhere this week. The public strike starting tomorrow will affect the removal, as the conservatives of the city’s museum center are also under strike. The statue will be lined with plywood until the strike ends next Monday and a more detailed schedule will be announced , says Saara Malila , Director of Communications at the City of Turku.
TS


Vladimir Lenin and Turku:

Quote:
Turku received the Lenin sculpture from its twin city Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1977. There were many sculptures of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a.k.a. Lenin, erected in cities across the Soviet Union. However, Lenin sculptures can also be found in countries that were never a part of the Soviet Union.

The V. I. Lenin bust sculpted by Mihail Anicushin (1917-1997) became a symbol of political division in Turku, and it still provokes political debate. Consequently, the sculpture has been defaced several times over the years.
Turku Culture and Sports

Lenin spent some time in Finland on the run from the Bolsheviks

Quote:
It is a historical fact that Lenin spent one and a half years of his life,
in short periods, in Finland that was a suitable hiding place for the
Bolshevik leaders of the early 20th century. Finland was near enough to
St. Petersburg, and revolutionaries were not under as close surveillance
as in Russia.

<snip>

6
The longest period
that Lenin hid in the Grand Duchy was between 1906 and 1907, but the
most famous of these sojourns, surely, was on the eve of the October
Revolution of 1917 when he wrote his State and Revolution in Helsinki.
Before 1917, Lenin was a relatively unknown figure in Finland. After
seizing power, however, Lenin and his Bolshevik government signed
Finland’s declaration of independence on the last day of 1917.
Heldi fi - pdf paper on the relationship between the USSR and Finland

So even if one despises communism it seems weird to cancel out Lenin as he was key to declaring Finland's independence in 1917, although his motives would have been politically self-serving. However, ISTM there is a certain ignorance of history at play here.

When Lenin was fleeing the imperialists in 1907, he took refuge at a house in Parainen, a suburb of Turku:

Quote:
Lenin in Pargas
There is a room in the Kirjala house which commemorates the Russian political leader V.I.Lenin, who visited the house during his escape from Russia in 1807. Lenins escape route took him to Åbo (Fin. Turku) and he was escorted to Pargas by the teacher Ludvig Lindström. Lenin was presented as a German geologist, Dr. Müller. It was a really cold December evening when the two arrived at the crossing. The sound had recently received an thin ice-sheet and Lenin had to walk over the ice to get to Kirjala Norrgård.
Pargas local history museum

So it is not as though Lenin is representing an ideology as such, albeit Finland's most acclaimed novelist, Vaino Linna draws on the struggles between Red and White in his works, but he is an important figure in terms of influencing Finland's history, in the same way Winston Churchill is important in UK history, even if you loathe some of the things he stood for.

So, personally, I am not sure it is the right decision to remove Lenin's statue because of the Russia attack on Ukraine.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 08:13 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You have to remember Ilta- Lehti is a tabloid, rather like the SUN. I am sure it does have 'inside sources'. However, bear in mind, it was Ilta- Lehti and the Swedish tabloid Expressen which claimed the decision ahd already been made and that the two countries had decided to apply at the same time, which was then taken up by BBC and Reuters, but actually hasn't been voted on in parliament yet!

I am sure it is virtually a done deal but it is rather like declaring Manchester Untied has beaten Huddersfield Town when they are not even due to play until next Saturday, even if it is odds-on probable.

Fake news, IMV, in that it is not confirmed by an official source, even if all the newspapers are repeating it as 'It has been reported by Ilta-Lehti'.
Thanks for the context. I'm not familiar with all the ins and outs of the Finnish media. It's interesting that The Guardian, which is left leaning but certainly not a tabloid, thought it worth reporting.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 04:04 AM   #266
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Well, president Niinistö himself said that will announce his position at the latest on the 12th of May - and prime minister Marin has said that she will do it before the SDP party council meeting on the 14th. So, the 12th it probably will be. The parliament can seal the the deal on the 16th at the earliest, but most people bet it will be the 17th or 18th. Sweden is likely to follow within 2-3 weeks.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 09:32 AM   #267
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Now that it's almost certain that Sweden will join NATO it comes as no surprise that the Kremlin has started a public AD campaign to paint prominent Swedes (and thus Sweden) as being Nazis, such as Astrid Lindgren.

The name of the propaganda campaign is "We are against Nazism, they are not". This name however is extremely ironic and demonstrates the hypocrisy behind it.

They quote from Astrid Lindgren's wartime diary, where she wrote that she'd rather say "Heil Hitler for the rest of her life rather than have the Russian's (that is, the Soviet Union) in Sweden. They do not however provide a date for this quote since this was made during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact when the Soviet Union traded extensively with Nazi Germany and supported it in many other ways.
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And no, Cuba is not a brutal and corrupt dictatorship, and it's definitely less so than Sweden. - dann
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Old 3rd May 2022, 09:46 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Now that it's almost certain that Sweden will join NATO it comes as no surprise that the Kremlin has started a public AD campaign to paint prominent Swedes (and thus Sweden) as being Nazis, such as Astrid Lindgren.

The name of the propaganda campaign is "We are against Nazism, they are not". This name however is extremely ironic and demonstrates the hypocrisy behind it.

They quote from Astrid Lindgren's wartime diary, where she wrote that she'd rather say "Heil Hitler for the rest of her life rather than have the Russian's (that is, the Soviet Union) in Sweden. They do not however provide a date for this quote since this was made during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact when the Soviet Union traded extensively with Nazi Germany and supported it in many other ways.

https://twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/st...Z-HzJ2Smhoq5gQ

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Darth Putin
@DarthPutinKGB

OTD in 1941 the Soviets had a military parade in Moscow. So they invited their Nazis allies cos it would be rude not to.
Quote:
Those invited included the military attaches and liaison staff. I recommend reading
@Roger_Moorhouse
’s books. Over a nice cup of tea.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 05:39 PM   #269
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US talking about a US presence in Swedan and Finland during the interim period.
Same from other NATO countries.
If it's a ground troop contingen by the US, it would probably be the Marines..since US Land Troops support of the Northern tier of NATO has been a Marine responsiblity since the 1980's.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 07:15 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
They quote from Astrid Lindgren's wartime diary, where she wrote that she'd rather say "Heil Hitler for the rest of her life rather than have the Russian's (that is, the Soviet Union) in Sweden. They do not however provide a date for this quote since this was made during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact when the Soviet Union traded extensively with Nazi Germany and supported it in many other ways.
My uncle is Ukrainian. His father used to say that life under the Nazis was by far better than life under the Soviets.
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Old 4th May 2022, 12:48 PM   #271
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A russian military helicopter flew 5km into Finnish airspace today.

They have to realize this has the opposite effect of what's intended.
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Old 4th May 2022, 01:26 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
A russian military helicopter flew 5km into Finnish airspace today.

They have to realize this has the opposite effect of what's intended.
The pilot was probably just trying to get a good cell signal so he could call his mom.
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Old 4th May 2022, 01:47 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The pilot was probably just trying to get a good cell signal so he could call his mom.
Maybe GLONASS was having troubles again...
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Old 4th May 2022, 02:12 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
A russian military helicopter flew 5km into Finnish airspace today.

They have to realize this has the opposite effect of what's intended.
Maybe a Missile from a Finnish F 18 Hornet would help them to understand.
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Old 4th May 2022, 02:17 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
US talking about a US presence in Swedan and Finland during the interim period.
Same from other NATO countries.
If it's a ground troop contingen by the US, it would probably be the Marines..since US Land Troops support of the Northern tier of NATO has been a Marine responsiblity since the 1980's.
Overtaken by events. US Marines will participate in a exercise in Finland in a couple of weeks.

"From the Halls Of Helsinki....
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Old 4th May 2022, 02:58 PM   #276
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I am guessing the UK contingent will be Marines too, It has always been their job to cover the northern flank of NATO, they are trained in mountain and arctic warfare.
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Old 4th May 2022, 03:12 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I am guessing the UK contingent will be Marines too, It has always been their job to cover the northern flank of NATO, they are trained in mountain and arctic warfare.
Which is the US Marines task also: covering the Northern flank of Nato;
The Royal Marines and the US Marines have a friendship dating back to the siege of Peking in 1900, and reinforced when both were at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.
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Old 4th May 2022, 03:31 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
A russian military helicopter flew 5km into Finnish airspace today.

They have to realize this has the opposite effect of what's intended.
There was a joint Finnish and UK expeditionary exercise and the incursion had something to do with this but the Finns were not bothered.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was in a press conference here:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


People have also been circulating a video of a load of tanks supposedly being transported by cargo train from Tampere, Finland, to 'the outskirts of Moscow', when actually it is a regularly army logistical operation going to the West of Finland for some kind of exercise and is nothing to do with Russia or Ukraine.
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Old 6th May 2022, 10:42 PM   #279
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So, interesting times here in Finland - the president and prime minister will announce their support for Nato membership in the coming week (Thursday it seems), the application will be formally sent to the parliament which will approve it on Tue or Wed (the 17th or 18th). Sweden is likely to follow almost immediately (there is still some talk that it can happen simultaneously with Finland). Russia is expected to react badly but not with force. Historical times and steps which will greatly strenghten Nato in the north of Europe and the Baltic.
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Old 7th May 2022, 04:59 AM   #280
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Excellent long thread here by Jussi Jalonen, an expert in politics, "Researcher of military history and Eastern Europe, PhD, docent, Western Finland. Military History, Scholar of Eastern Europe, Ph.D, Adjunct, Western Finn." @jojalonen


https://twitter.com/jojalonen/status...WRTsOByQZwKR8A

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Recently, there has been a longing in the elite social media for a discussion about why Finland did not apply for NATO membership as early as the 1990s. HS Vision even hoped for a "history and context debate".

Well, if only as a researcher I would try. First of all, I want to capture your attention with a newspaper clip.

[follows newspaper clipping of Yeltsin warning about NATO expansion eastwards]

The newspaper clip is, in fact, only indirectly related to the subject, as who would have cared about Boris Yeltsin's defiance at the time. I will go back to how it took its time for NATO to accept new members. But let's start with Finnish attitudes.

<snip>

You can read about Yle's recordings in the conversation of that time. UN Secretary-General Hilkka Pietilä -- a party member of the Central Party -- , was intimidated by, among other things, the possibility that "Finnish boys would be taken to the Balkans to be killed" as a result of membership.

<snip>

What about NATO membership? It was immediately debated in the early 1990s. It can be considered to have started with the purchase of F-18 fighters. The acquisition caused a great deal of frustration as to whether the country's government is secretly trying to tie Finland into the Atlantic Alliance.

<snip>

First, neo-patriotism increased national defense. The wars were remembered as victories in the fight. The end of the Cold War had proved that Finland was on the right side from the beginning and belonged to the west, where the country was now free to apply. Through EU membership -- perhaps also NATO membership?

<snip>

But: at the same time, neo-patriotism reinforced our beloved national myth. We were a nation that was the only one in Europe to have avoided occupation during the war, on its own and fighting alone. A nation that had survived alone and that owed no one anything.

<snip>

Neo-patriotism was a beautiful paradox. It marked a break from the atmosphere during the Cold War, but at the same time it brought with it a story of a national heroic story. Why ally militarily if we have survived superiority?

It is a long read but a good insight into the politics of it all.
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