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SUPO National Security Assessment 2019: Dozens of Spies in Finland

The Finnish Security and Intelligence Service SUPO was transformed into a full-blown intelligence agency when the new intelligence laws for military and civilian intelligence were passed this summer. In the new role SUPO can now engage in activities like network traffic intelligence and intelligence operations abroad. While the new powers are not yet fully utilized, SUPO's situational awareness should have improved a lot in the recent months.


On December 5, 2019 SUPO published its annual assessment of the Finland’s security situation. It splits the Finnish security environment into four areas: Foreign intelligence activity targeting Finland and FinnsCyber espionageThreat of terrorism in FinlandHybrid threats

SUPO openly states that the most active intelligence agencies operating in Finland are Russian and Chinese. There are dozens of intelligence operatives permanently stationed in Finland. The focus of these agencies are: Finding influence vectors within the Finnish societyAnticipati…
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Winter War - A Nation Forged Into One

Every nation has defining moments in its history, but few have such a powerful single event that embodies the people and spirit of the nation as Winter War is for Finland. The war forged a nation divided by a bloody war of independence into one entity that stood with grim determination against the hopeless odds and survived to tell the tale.

Before the Russian invasion that begun on the 30th of November in 1939, most Finns were blissfully unaware of the forces Stalin had assigned for what he expected to be an easy victory. The Red Army had devised a plan to attack Finland along the whole 1300 km long border with 21 divisions that had 450 000 men.

Soviets highlighted the totalitarian nature of their invasion already on the first day of the war as bomber formations unleashed hell upon Finnish cities. It’s still somewhat debated whether the attacks on civilian population were intentional or a result of utter incompetence and failed targeting of the bombing runs. The Soviet air-power ha…

#WinterWar80: Road to War

On October 5th 1939 the USSR invited Finnish representatives to negotiations in Moscow. The Finnish government draw the correct conclusion that USSR was going to demand territory and bases from Finland. But the Finnish government wasn’t ready to roll over in the negotiations.

The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany and the following invasion of Poland by the two, had made the Finnish leadership somewhat alarmed. During the October 1939 the USSR had demanded bases from the Baltic states. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania saw that they had no choice but to comply with the demands as they were trapped between the co-operating dictatorships.

Some leverage had to be created for the Finnish government. So it was decided that the best way to counter the Soviet pressure was to mobilize the Finnish army. But instead of announcing a general mobilization, Finland begun an “extra refresher training for the reservists”. 

The Independent Finnish army emerged from t…

Quick Guide to Turkish Tanks

The Turkish Armed Forces posses the largest tank fleet in Europe, only dwarfed by the Russian reserve stocks beyond the Ural mountains. The Turkish fleet is a mixture of American and German armor with indigenous upgrades.
The Turkish active tank fleet is currently composed of: - 354 Leopard 2A4 tanks - 397 Leopard 1A3 tanks with 170 upgraded to Leopard 1T standard with new fire control system - 932 M60 Pattons, out of which 104 are aging A1 variants, 658 are A3 TTS and 170 are fully modernized M60T Sabra-models, upgraded with Israeli technology. - 758 M48 Pattons with an unknown distribution of M48A3 and M48A5T2 variants.
Out of these tank models the Leopard 2A4 and the M60T Sabra are the most capable ones. Both are clearly superior to the aging Soviet T-72, T-62 and T-55 tanks primarily fielded by the Syrian Arab Army. Both the Leopard 2A4 and M60T have roughly comparable 120 mm main guns, capable of knocking out all armor in the neighborhood.
Both the Leopard 1 and the M48 show the…

Countering Hybrid War 2019

"Unidentified troops have taken over several government buildings, an harbor and airports across Finland. Finnish army has alerted it’s available conscripts, mobilized the reserve local battalions and sent them to support police and border guard units engaging the hostile forces. The local authorities have began transitioning into a crisis mode."
That's how my March 11, 2017 article "Countering the Hybrid War - The Finnish Way" begun.


It has now been two years since that article. So has the Finnish approach of comprehensive security, combined with conscript based military, evolved during the past two years?
From the military perspective the framework laid before has remained the same. The proposed changes in the legislation have mostly been passed and they include: - Comprehensive intelligence laws that cover both military and civilian intelligence - Laws regarding the use of force against unmarked military formations - Laws that allow the military to use fo…

From Tsentr to Union Shield, Russian fall exercises in 2019

The Russian army loves it’s grandiose main exercises. Not only do they present a great venue for strategic signaling and shows of force, but they also allow Russia to test its mobilization, logistics, command and communication capabilities with a realistic amount of forces.

The this years main exercise Tsentr 2019 ( Center 2019), was announced last December. The exercise will have foreign components from following countries:
- China
- India
- Kazakhstan
- Kyrgyzstan
- Tajikistan
- Pakistan
- Uzbekistan

The largest foreign participant will be China. The PLA will send over 1600 men into Russia. The Chinese force will consist of mechanized infantry and air-force units. During the previous similar exercise, the Vostok 2018, the Chinese mechanized units operated withing the Russian formations, but it’s unknown how well the integration actually works and whether or not these composite units are actually capable of conducting demanding combat operations.

Based on the preliminary information…

Buying Greenland: Trump’s Gaffe With a Point

President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has entertained the idea of purchasing Greenland from it’s current owner Denmark. Both the Danish and the autonomic Greenland’s governments have promptly dismissed the idea. The spokesman of Greenland’s government stated that "Greenland is not for sale." But is that actually true?
China has been heavily buying in to Greenland and its vast natural resources. The true quantity of the resources is only slowly getting revealed as the continental ice is melting due to the climate change. At Kvanefjeld Chinese companies are planning to begin mining both Uranium and rare earth elements, the production if which China is trying to monopolize. The Chinese companies are also investing in zinc and iron mines on the island.
The Chinese investments in export commodities production in Africa have always been coupled with a complex scheme of co-operation. These deals connect the economic investments to infrastructure projects and p…