Finnish reservists prepare for Russian threat after application to join NATO


Finland, with 5.5 million inhabitants, has a fighting force of 900,000 reservists and a capacity of 280,000 soldiers.

MPK, Association Member
Training at the Santhamina Military Base in Helsinki, Finland.AFP

The Finnish army is on the alert to protect itself from the Russian threat. The country’s army has only 13,000 soldiers, but it is on alert to protect itself from Russia.

Although the Finnish military has only 13,000 professionals, this country of 5.5 million people is impressive. 900,000 reservoirs And a Battle force with a capacity of 280,000 soldiers. The epitome of a country that is always ready to face the worst.

For many of those present on the military island of Sant’Hamina this Saturday in May, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call.

“It was the last sign that you have to be ready in life. If something happens, you have to be more equipped for the crisis,” engineer Ville Mukka, 30, told AFP.

Wearing camouflage gear and helmets covered with some branches, he and his companions they learn to shake handsTo detect explosives and move in a coordinated manner through the forest.

In the first week of the war in Ukraine, enrollment in volunteer defense programs skyrocketed.

war in ukraine

“The interest is about ten times higher than in normal years,” says 29-year-old Ossi Hietala, a representative of the Finnish National Defense Training Association, MPK.

Number of volunteers instead of 600 volunteers per week6,000 to rivers. shot tillWhich led the Finnish state to pay an additional three million euros to the MPK.

Independent of Russia since 1917 and invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939, Finland was at war with its powerful neighbor for much of World War II, ending in a Genuine alliance with Nazi Germany.

The conflict caused the loss of most of its territory and then Decades of neutrality in the eyes of Moscow During the war between

“You don’t have to go far back in history to find points of convergence” with the Ukraine war, says Tumas Vere, another 43-year-old participant, “which is quite worrying.”

“Maybe that’s why I’m more active in my training,” he says.

Finland on Sunday and Sweden on Monday announced their “historic” entry into NATO as a direct result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, thus turning the page of decades of military non-alignment.


Since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, Finland has seen the coalition’s supporters triple in a matter of months, reaching more than 75%.

“I think that as a small country, Finland has no other proper way to defend itself and its sovereignty. I am on the side of the coalition,” says Ville Mukka.

Moscow has expressed its displeasure over the merger plans of the two Nordic countries, threatening a “reaction”.

MPK training courses, which offer a variety of courses to prepare citizens for crisis, They serve 40,000 people annually.

courses go From reading basic maps and camping in the woods For sniper training and anti-tank weapons.

“The ones who come are ordinary Finns. These people want to come to develop their skills, to train, and to learn new things,” says Ossi Hietala.

Most participants are reservoirs who have come to refresh their knowledge.

Unlike most European countries, Finland bases its defense on compulsory military service.

All men in the age group of 18 to 60 years are subject to recruitment, while women are recruited on a voluntary basis.

Each year, more than 20,000 young recruits serve for anywhere from six months to almost a year. After that, they join the reserve.

“Reservists make up 96 percent of wartime forces, so they are a very important part of Finnish military defence,” says Hietala.

“A very significant portion of the adult population has received military training at some point in their lives,” he underlines.

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