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Study: Russia Has Doubled Troops on Western Borders

Russian paratroopers
Russian paratroopers Source: Photo: RIA Novosti/Scanpix

In a short time, Russia has doubled the number of troops in its former Leningrad military district, a fresh report by the Finnish Defense Academy's strategic studies institute reveals.

The authors of the study note that, after the 2010 merger of the Leningrad and Moscow military districts into a new Western Military District, the mass of the Russian armed forces shifted notably to the northwest, with the number of troops facing the Finnish border doubled in a short time, YLE reported.  

The former Leningrad district bordered with Finland, Estonia and Latvia, while the Western district also flanks Russia's other two neighbors, Belarus and Ukraine.

The study also notes that Finland's peace-time combat readiness is relatively low and that the imbalance is growing, with the Russians expected to spend 500 billion euros to improve their defense capabilities through 2020.

The authors say that this might cause a military vacuum for not only Finland and the Baltics but Western Europe as a whole.


Erkki Sivonen

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