How Finland Is Preparing For A Russian Invasion

Tyler Durden's picture

In September, Russia will conduct its Zapad 2017 military exercise, the largest since the end of the Cold War, and one which is already sending shivers down the spine of NATO, which not only has "serious doubts Moscow is revealing the true extent of its military exercises", but because the last time such a major training exercise took place was just before the Crimea "annexation." One country, however, isn't taking chances: Russia's northern neighbor Finland, which as the WSJ reports, is "going underground."

In something straight out of an H.G. Wells novel, Helsinki has built an entire subterranean city beneath Helsinki which forms a "crucial line of defense for the capital. Finnish soldiers routinely train here, with a mission to keep Finland’s government running and city residents safe in a network that features more than 124 miles of tunnels, passageways and shelters" the WSJ reports.

The "extensive underground network" has been adapted over recent decades with one thing in mind: to become an impregnable defensive redoubt which provides most of the amenities of regular, above the surface existence: blast doors seal entrances...

The entrance to the Katri Vala Park bomb shelter in Helsinki

... passageways are adapted so the military—with a regiment dedicated to controlling the tunnels—can contain enemy infiltrators; utility and subway tunnels provide arteries for communications; there is a constant water supply and even Wi-Fi. In fact, there is enough shelter space for all city’s more than 600,000 residents in the event of an attack or disaster.

While the underground fortress has long been in place, the upcoming Russian drills are shaping up as a focal point for some very nervous Finns: “The soldiers make sure we will have the advantage underground if they ever come to us wanting a fight,” a former Finnish Defense Ministry official told the WSJ.

Showing just how pervasive anti-Russian sentiment has become across Europe, the WSJ notes that "with thousands of Russian troops expected to mass at the border for the exercise, the Finns worry the training could be a screen for aggressive military moves." Which is ironic because even as Russia’s war games take place on Finland’s border, NATO - of which Finland is not a member - has been aggressively stepping up its own presence in the Baltics, across the Gulf of Finland.

Still, that has not assuaged the local paranoia that the upcoming Russian drill could result in an outright invasion:

“More than looking at what will happen during the exercise, we’re more interested in what will happen afterward and make sure that the troops actually do leave,” said Jarno Limnell, a Finnish expert on cybersecurity and military science.

Then again, perhaps Finland does have reason to be concerned: after all it was the three-month-long "Winter War" against the Soviet Union in 1939-1940, which was started by Stalin on November 30, three months after the outbreak of World War II, that has shaped much of Finnish defensive planning.


A Finnish light artillery squad on patrol in January 1940

It was during this war that "in record cold temperatures, small groups of Finnish ski soldiers in winter camouflage picked off approaching Red Army soldiers in the forests. The Finns lost 10% of their territory to the Soviets, but maintained their sovereignty."

Planning is still shaped by that experience—with an emphasis on survival and forcing the enemy into unfamiliar terrain—though it shifted, after the Cold War, to the tunnels.

Fast forward to 2017 when in March of this year, Finland carried outn extensive military exercise based on a recent, real-world scenario: the takeover of government buildings by foreign special forces, like the Russians who seized installations in Crimea during the 2014 Russia-Ukraine conflict.  And, as the WSJ adds, "some of those exercises took place in Helsinki’s underground labyrinth. The network connects shopping centers, subway tunnels, parking garages and pathways that accompany power and water lines. Tunnels also lead into passageways used only by the military and connect to an island used exclusively for the military regiment responsible for defending Helsinki."

While much of the underground "city" is dual use - and many of the tunnels remain a secret - most Helsinki residents descend on occasion to get around, particularly in winter; some shop, swim, or attend an underground church. One swimming complex beneath a shopping center can be transformed within hours to shelter 3,800 people.


Kamppi Metro Station in Helsinki, where subway stations in the city center have
been equipped to serve as shelters.

Showing just how engrained the "defensive" mentality is among the locals, Ilkka Vahaaho, an employee of the city of Helsinki’s real estate department said that “today if you build a new underground space, it must be capable of being transformed into a defense center within days.” The state of the art defense centers are connected to city power and water supplies, and some have advanced ventilation capable of filtering out radioactive particles.


The entrance to the Johanneksenpuisto bomb shelter in Helsinki

To be sure, government defense strategists say it is "highly unlikely that Russia would invade as it did in Crimea." Furthermore, recently passed legislation allows Finland to ask other countries, including NATO members, for military assistance in case of attack. Nonetheless, Finnish authorities say their system of civilian-military defense councils assures that national defense is considered at all levels of civilian life. They say that the exercises underground and elsewhere "combine military and civilian organizations, including businesses and medical workers who practice responding to crises. "

That means preparing the whole population for the worst-case scenarios, said Janne Kuusela, the Defense Ministry’s policy director.

 

“The tunnel system we’ve built comes from our own lessons learned from the Second World War: You need to do what you can to keep your vital functions going even if you’re being heavily bombarded,” he said. “That’s why they’re there.”

And while nobody is realistically concerned about a full-blown military invasion, high-ranking officials say the country faces other, nonmilitary, threats from Russia: cyberattacks, information warfare and political and economic pressure, something referred to as “hybrid warfare.” And while there has been no actual evidence of that, Finnish authorities, echoding similar sentiments from other western nations, most notably the US, say they have seen "concerted efforts by pro-Russian nongovernmental groups, social media accounts and cyberattacks attempting to influence domestic politics" confirming - one would suppose - once again that Vladimir Putin is the greatest Machiavellian organizer of governmental overthrows among "democratic" nations, not to mention chaos and mayhem, around the globe armed with just a computer.

Like in the US and elsewhere, Moscow has scoffed publicly at accusations it uses such methods to influence politics abroad, and President Vladimir Putin has denied that the state is behind hacking attempts, which are merely attempts by "democratic" government to scapegoat foreign "adversaries" for domestic political instability. Ironically, there is little discourse in the current "democratic" press of the greatest political intervention machine known to man: the Central Intelligence Agency, whose offshore political exploits go back for decades.

In any case, Finland remains steadfast in its anti-Russian sentiment, and says it has faced Moscow’s use of pro-Russian activists, propaganda and political pressure on Finnish politicians since the Cold War.

As a result, this year 10 countries from NATO and the EU committed to establishing a research center focused on hybrid warfare, to open in Helsinki in September. “When Western Europe started talking about hybrid warfare and preparing to defend against it, we realized this is what we’ve already been doing for decades,” Kuusela, the defense ministry policy coordinator, told the WSJ.

Expect to hear much more about the Russian mega-drill in the coming months.

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Putrid_Scum's picture

Finland is on my list for post-Reset relocation.

(Might) See you there. (Southern Switzerland might be nicer...for the post-Reset Party ;))

I plan to drink beer, turn on the TV, and watch the shit hit the fan 

Putrid

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Yea right, Russia has 11 times zones, what the hell would they want Finland for?

GUS100CORRINA's picture

How Finland Is Preparing For A Russian Invasion

My response: The entire world has lost its collective mind to warmongering DEMONIC cults.

If I were Finland, I would be more worried about the return of the LION of JUDAH.

techpriest's picture

I have a friend in Finland - will have to Skype him to see what his thoughts are about the situation.

booboo's picture

Underground Maginot Line, they have learned nothing from the Frogs

macholatte's picture

 

Yup!

Easy way to defeat the underground cities..... plug the exits.

They either starve to death, kill eachother or suffocate.

No need to bury the bodies.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I wonder what it's like to live in a country that takes active measures to defend itself from foreign invaders who would illegally cross borders.

NoDecaf's picture

Who do you think these bomb shelters are for? The Finns?

 

Don't be surprised if they are all pointed towards Mecca.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Don't you wish the US government built something to protect Americans? All our military ever talks about is "force projection."

DRTexas's picture

We(the military) are here to protect you.  You are responsible for building your own hideyhole.  We can fight or babysit.  Not both.  We are not a police force or a diplomatic corps. And, damn sure, not a housing agency. 

You sound a little like a welfare queen,  wonderng who is gonna pay fo yo babies.

DrData02's picture

It seems you (the military) just take money to kill people in foreign lands.

TheReplacement's picture

We here are taxpayers.

You get paid with the taxes we pay.

We have not been invaded... for like, ever.

You still keep taking the pay.

I never asked you to protect me.

You still keep taking the pay.

I don't want you to protect me.

You still keep taking the pay.

Oh wait, we have been invaded, by pretty much every banana republic in the hemisphere but not one finger was lifted to protect our southern border.

You still keep taking the pay.

We've had umpteen illegal wars across the entire globe and not one finger was lifted to protect the nation from the war criminals in DC.

You still keep taking the pay.

Who is the welfare queen?

TheReplacement's picture

Display your honor DRTexas.  Uphold the oath you swore or give us our money back.

 

MalteseFalcon's picture

 

Invasion by Moslems and Africans?

Invasion by Russians?

 

pluto the dog's picture

in the park near the botanical gardens in helsinki groups of african immivaders occupy the mounds and other highpoints - watching. if you go there be careful!

Never One Roach's picture

The Russians are NOT the biggest threat for 95% of the Finlanders who are your simple hard working citizens.

 

FINLAND: Rape epidemic by Muslim migrants is only one reason why Finns don’t want more Muslim ‘refugees,’ the majority of whom are military age men

 

 

Is rampant rape the price Finnish women must pay for giving asylum to Muslim migrants? Finland, now, has become “one of the least safe countries in Europe for women,” according to Finland’s leading newspaper, “all because of the Muslim influx.”
vato poco's picture

gosh, it's almost as if russia's closest neighbors - who share borders and hundreds of years of history w/ the bear; and (presumably) know them better than America's sniff-putin's-jock clique does - it's almost as if they don't trust the russians at all. but the learned ZH commentariat says that's just *silly*! who to believe? think, think .. 

 

TheReplacement's picture

Tis a pity.  Was there a couple years ago before the invasion.  Helsinki, as I remember it, is one of my favorite places on earth.

Hi-Hi

halcyon's picture

Total WSJ crap. It's total fake news. Got LOTS of friends in Finland and they are laughing their asses off about this article.

Most of the bomb shelters are old, from the cold-war era and have been repurposed or abandoned/out of use.

The new constructions are merely about basic infra upgrades and building inside ground rock if efficient space use in the capital, where space is tight.

Yes, there are some secret underground functions that have been built in the past 10 years, but do you honestly think that the Finns would be so fucking daft that they would broadcast all those on the front of the WSJ? Get real.

Nothing to see here, move on.

What Finland is worried about is energy/information/economic warfare by/against Russia (think stupid actions by the neocons and or Bruessels lackeys). Because those have immediate and critical consequences for Finland.

 

Veritas X-'s picture

Finally, an intelligent comment about this bs-wsj-fake news.

Thank you halycon.

Kittos ystävällinen Suomeksi.

Finnish is my 4th language, wife is Finnish and I've lived in Finland for 3 years, in Helsinki during the '80's.

Whether folks like it or not, when and if the missisles start flyin' &/or the bombs start falling, it's just as likely it would be american/nato blowing up things.

Most people don't know that the Finns requested an alliance with Great Britain before the Winter War of 1939 with the Soviet Union.

Churchill-the Brittish turned down the Finnish request.

The Finns finally asked Germany to help them protect themselves from the Bolshevik Soviet Union.

The Finns know their history and don't want to be Nato members.

However, they got nwo-lackeys there too.

X-

 

DRTexas's picture

Technically true.  However; the request for an alliance was made after the writing was on the wall that they were a target of Russia.  All suggestions of any alliance was eschewed by Finland before that point when it was approached by Britain.  That is like trying to buy insurance after the accident.

But go ahead and spin it how you want.

Veritas X-'s picture

Regardless, it's not what I think, it's what Finns consider to be the truth.

I'm an old fart from New Jersey, living abroad almost 40 years.

Churchill also left the Poles-Poland in a similar situation, and the result was Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement.

True story, that 1 too.

X-

truthseeker47's picture

Yeah it's like expecting to get health insurance after you get cancer.  Oh wait, we do that now.  Never mind.

truthseeker47's picture

Actually, the Finns asked for help from (almost) everyone when Stalin invaded their country in '39.  Especially America, but FDR liked the rooskies and he flat out refused to help the Finns fight them off.  Many individuals came to Finland from other scandinavian countries and America to help them however.  Russian Foreign Secretary Molotov said they were not bombing Finland, but merely airlifting food to starving Finns, so the Finns named the bombs "Molotov Bread Baskets".  Here is a photo of one of them:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov_bread_basket

The small peaceful nation of Finland preventing Stalin from over-running their country gave Hitler the idea that Russia was weak and resulted in the German attack of Russia in 1941.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_War . The casualty ratio of the Winter was about 20 Russians to one Finn.  Having the World's Greatest Sniper helped the Finns  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4  With 542 confirmed kills in the brief 3 1/2 months of the Winter War.

Veritas X-'s picture

I'm very well aware of what happened; I've seen many Finnish small village cemeteries full of the brave men of Finland.

True Heros. My wife's father was wounded Muolaa.

btw, I live nowadays in Sweden.

You say, "The casualty ratio of the Winter was about 20 Russians to one Finn.".

It was Soviet Soldiers(!) , that were killed, not just Russians.

I've heard, the kill-ratio for the whole war was 50 to 1; Soviet 50 vs Finns 1.

Many of the Soviet soldiers were woefully prepared, lacking adequate weaponry, ammo, food, boots & suitable clothing.

One of the greatest myths around is Operation Barbarossa was an aggression against the peaceful Soviets.

The Soviet Union had a million man invasion force placed in Soviet Occupied Poland, ready to launch a surprise attack on the German Wehrmacht.

Germany discovered the duplicitous soviet plan and launched their own surprise attack instead, Operation Barbarossa.

Remember, History is written by the victors.

X-

 

truthseeker47's picture

I was referring to the casualty ratio of military personnel.  I used data from the wikipedia article i linked, which points out discrepancies in the figures.  I suggest you read the article and any of several books about the Winter War.  One of my aunts died in Finland in 1943 because she could not get any medicine.

truthseeker47's picture

BTW Veritas, I have read a lot about WW2 and spying.  The accepted story is that American spies found out Hitler was planning to attack Russia, and the US tried to warn Stalin.  Stalin's spies had not discovered that, and he refused to believe it until it was too late for the info to be useful.  Also BTW in the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement of 23 Sept '39 Germany agreed to let Stalin have Finland, so he invaded Finland 3 months later.

TheReplacement's picture

Go back and look at the numbers of prisoners the German armies took in the first couple of weeks.  Clearly the Soviets had piled up a ton of troops and material on the front, for this or that reason.

There was a soviet era document found that provided the order for the Soviet army to invade western Europe, before Germany launched.  Hitler did in fact preempt Stalin.

sagramore's picture

Thanks reading this

>muh Hoxha

was entertaining.

Implied Violins's picture

Yup. I stopped reading at: "highly unlikely that Russia would invade as it did in Crimea."

keep the bastards honest's picture

looks like ice age issue, already they are world experts on indoor food production. Hailstones like footballs, sheet lightning, cosmic rays..

curbjob's picture

This article is another cryogenic mission to refreeze the cold war.

10 minutes on google earth tracing the Finnish / Russian boarder seems to indicate the two are very neighborly  ... fuck I've seen more sophisticated territorial boundaries in a trailer park . 

Shropshire Lad's picture

The Finns are wisely preparing for a major cataclysmic event by building huge shelters underground which can be sealed off.  Whether it is an EMP event, massive solar flares or the passage of Nibiru -- they will be prepared.  Russia has been building vast underground shelters also.  It's only the Nato countries that haver no interest in sheltering their citizens. 

AVmaster's picture

If ur gonna do it then hurry up and get it the fuck over with already, I'm tired of waiting and having to be stuck in a failed system as well...

The central planners's picture

Russia makes military drills in their territoty INVASION the US makes military drills in the Russian border at thousands of miles of their terrotory and its "DEFENSE"  i get it.

lolmao500's picture

Funny how ZHers all know that the CIA control terrorists and do all sorts of evil plots all over the world but Russia doesn't for some reason. China does it too BTW. All superpowers do.

TheReplacement's picture

Besides CNN saying it is so, got any proof that Russia does that?  Any proof at all?

Sanity Bear's picture

> what the hell would they want Finland for?

Pony trekking or camping... or just watching TV.

Hugh_Jass's picture

A special, twelfth time zone?

lucitanian's picture

"Showing just how pervasive anti-Russian sentiment has become across Europe, "

What a load of propaganda BS

chubbar's picture

When the fuck are these assholes going to quit with the "Russia invaded Crimea" bullshit? Crimea voted, in what was regarded as a fair election, by over 90% to join Russia after the US gov't (as attested to by Victoria Nuland) spent 5 billion to start a color revolution to overthrow the democratically elected president of Ukraine!

Russia isn't going to be invading anyone. The fucking idiots in NATO continue to move missiles and troops onto the borders of Russia, who is being beligerent?

HowdyDoody's picture

Today must be ZionistHedge day. I must remember to keep track to see if there is a pattern.

MEFOBILLS's picture

 "Russia invaded Crimea" bullshit?

 

I know.  When an author gets something so fundamentally wrong, then eveything else they say becomes suspect.  

Crimea was a referendum, and there was no Russian invasion.  If you tell a big lie over and over (like Crimea was invaded), then sheeple will begin to believe.  

The West is a master of the lie and deception.

Pure Evil's picture

Has anyone stopped to consider what the Russian's would have done if the vast majority of Cimeans had voted no in the referendum?

I sincerely doubt the Russians would have retreated from Crimea had the vote gone against them.

Not trying to imply the Russians were the aggressors in this instance since Crimea had been a part of Russia for quite a long time before Khrushchev had a brain fart and turned it over to Ukraine.

But, it would still have been interesting to see what would have happened if the worm turned the other way.

truthseeker47's picture

Everyone seems to have forgotten that Russia has had a naval port at Sevastopol since the 1700s, and still has a long-term lease on it with the independent Ukraine, extending to 2042 and beyond.

Jubal Early's picture

You will pay with what?  Bitcoin?  Besides if you are an american you would be denied banking services due to Fatca in both countries.