Yle: Russian helicopter briefly violated Finnish airspace last month

Mi-17 helicopter in Russian military service (photo is illustrative).
Mi-17 helicopter in Russian military service (photo is illustrative). Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons

A Russian military helicopter violated Finnish airspace twice last month, public broadcaster Yle reports.

A preliminary investigation announced by the Finnish Border Guard stated Friday that the incursions, by a Mi-17 conducting normal border patrol duties, happened twice on the same day in early May, on Finland's southeastern border, but were "not serious", Yle reported on its English-language page.

While Finland's defense ministry had said the helicopter had flown as deeply as 4km into Finnish territory, this figure has subsequently been revised downwards, while the helicopter returned to Russian Federation territory on its crew's own accord.

The first violation of the day took place near the town of Kitee in North Karelia, with the incursion being around 700m, and the second near Rautjärvi, in South Karelia, less than 100 km away, when the same helicopter flew around 500m into Finnish territory.

Last month and in the wake of the February 24 invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Finland and Sweden both announced their applications for NATO membership, with the hopes that the applications would be processed as soon as possible.

The original Yle article is here.

Prior to World War Two, Finland's southeastern border had lain considerably further to the east than is presently the case, incorporating much more of Karelia (Karjala, in Finnish), stretching to the north shore of Lake Ladoga, and including the town of Viipuri.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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