Sweden increased patrols on the Baltic island of gotland due to the advance of tension in the area and in the midst of the conflict between NATO and Russia over Ukraine. “From today we will be more visible and we will be in important strategic places of a civilian nature,” Tomas Ängshammar, spokesman for the Gotland regiment, told Swedish public television SVT, referring, among others, to the port and airport of the largest island. of Sweden in the Baltic.
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The reason is the “increasing activity” in the areas close to Sweden, for which it is considered important “to show the inhabitants of Gotland and other countries that we have an active defense that adapts according to the situation.”
The Swedish Defense considers, however, that the risk that this Scandinavian country suffers an attack is low.
The tension between Sweden and Russia has increased in recent years, coinciding with the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, with mutual denunciations of airspace violations, especially by the Swedish side.
The most serious episode occurred in 2014, when Stockholm reported a violation of its territory by an alleged foreign submarine, indirectly targeting Russia, but the main evidence, some photos taken by individuals, was discarded months later.
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Sweden In recent years, it has intensified its collaboration with NATO, of which it is an associated country, and has approved several additional items to increase the budget in this area.
In addition, for the first time in almost fifteen years, a permanent detachment has been sent to Gotland, compulsory military service has been restored, the deployment of NATO troops on Swedish territory has been allowed, and a guide has been reissued with information on how to act in an emergency or military invasion.
The Swedish armed forces called up the 22,000 members of the National Guard, a permanent corps of volunteer reservists, in 2018 to check their mobilization capacity, a measure that had not been applied since 1975.
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Russia dismisses as disinformation any pretext to invade Ukraine
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday called Washington’s accusations that Moscow is orchestrating an operation to create a pretext to invade or enter Ukraine “total disinformation.”
According to the head of Russian diplomacy at a press conference with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Grlic Radman, senior US officials “spread total disinformation” that Moscow is preparing “a provocation with an attack against the Russian-speaking population in Donbas to have an excuse for the invasion.
From both the White House and the Pentagon, the US government said Friday that Russia has positioned a group of operatives to carry out what in US military jargon is called a “false flag operation” in the eastern Ukraine.
Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby explained that it would be an operation “designed to look like an attack against them (the Russians) or their people, or people who speak Russian in Ukraine, as an excuse to enter” the soil. ukrainian
The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, assured, for her part, that these Russian operatives are trained in urban guerrilla warfare and in the use of explosives “to carry out acts of sabotage against the Russian forces themselves”, which justify that intervention.
Lavrov quoted the White House Press Secretary as saying that the modus operandi would be “similar to 2014”. “Certainly, the current tragedy in Ukraine began in 2014, but not because of an alleged Russian provocation, but as a result of the US-supported and largely orchestrated coup,” he said, referring to the protests in Ukraine. Maidan Square that ended with the overthrow of the then Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych.
NATO signs agreement with Ukraine on cyber security
NATO signed an agreement on Monday to strengthen its support for Ukraine on cyber security, after a hacking attack against the country raised fears of possible military action by Russia.
This Monday, Ludwig Decamps, head of the NATO Information and Communications Agency, said that “we have been working successfully with Ukraine for several years, providing key capabilities and exchanging knowledge. With this reinforced agreement, we will deepen our collaboration with Ukraine to support them in modernizing its communications and information technology services, while also identifying areas where training for its staff may be required.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian ambassador to NATO, Natalia Galibarenko, said that the support of the military alliance will allow “to continue introducing modern information technologies and services in the command and control system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
*With information from agencies
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