The Swedish command sent troops to patrol the city of Visby on the strategically important island of Gotland located in the Baltic Sea, informs SVT Nyheter. The Swedish authorities, according to them, took such a step in connection with “Russian activity.”
The patrol group includes several dozen military and armored vehicles, transmits Interfax.
On January 13, the Swedish Army warned that it would be deploying troops “to numerous locations” due to “increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea.” At the same time, Sweden is reducing its presence in remote theaters of operations. On January 14, it became known that the government recalls military who participated in the counter-terrorist operation Takuba in Mali. Previously, up to 150 Swedish soldiers were sent there to fight Islamic militants.
In 2017, Sweden again made compulsory military service for citizens. On Gotland in 2018, the military command also deployed a military contingent again.
Sweden’s director of military intelligence, Lena Hallin, said this week that “Sweden’s security situation is far from normal at the moment.” She clarified that for some time now, events “are moving towards a serious crisis in security policy in Europe.”
January 12 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania asked NATO to increase military presence on their territory to contain Russia. Of particular concern is the concentration of Russian troops near the borders with Ukraine. Since the end of last year, experts have expressed fears that the build-up of the army grouping could mean preparing for invasion.