National defense Poll: Finns’ will to defend their country is now greater than ever

Almost 90 percent of Finns trust the Defense Forces’ ability to counter the armed threat to Finland.

Russian The attack on Ukraine has raised the will of Finns to defend their country to a higher level than ever before, according to a recent survey by the National Defense Information Planning Board MTS.

At the same time, support for military non-alignment has collapsed, with less than a fifth of Finns supporting it. Only half a year ago, more than half supported military non-alignment.

The change in times is indicated by the fact that the MTS survey was published by chance an hour after Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO application.

The survey was extra, but it contained the same annual recurring questions. The MTS decided on the survey after the Russian invasion in order to get the most up-to-date view of the situation.

“I can say that the changes are significant,” said the chairman of MTS Harri Järvinen.

Poll According to Finland, Finland’s accession to NATO is now strongly supported, with 68 per cent wanting Finland to join NATO, up from a quarter last autumn.

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Fifteen percent now oppose joining NATO. Last fall, there were half the opponents.

The questions were asked to about a thousand Finns between the beginning of April and the beginning of May, when the NATO debate was at its height.

The actual will to defend the country has clearly strengthened, now 83 per cent want Finland to be defended armed if it is attacked here. According to the design board, this is the highest score in MTS’s survey series. Men were a little more likely than women to think so.

Equally hard readings were found on how trusted in Finland’s own army was. Nine out of ten, 87 percent, now trust the Defense Forces’ ability to counter military threats to Finland. Confidence has grown by almost fifteen percentage points since last fall.

In Finland it is also perceived that the situation is threatening. Two out of three now find the Finnish military environment more threatening, when last less than half thought so.

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The west is trusted, the east is not, the results can be summarized. The positive impact of NATO and the United States on Finland’s security has clearly increased. Russia’s negative influence, on the other hand, has grown even more. Now 85 per cent believe that Russia is having a negative effect on Finland’s security.

Finland’s military co-operation is also widely supported. Compared to last autumn, the positive attitude towards military cooperation has clearly increased, especially with NATO and the United States.

The result is in line with the results of a similar survey conducted by HS in March, which showed a large increase in the will to defend the country. At that time, it turned out that already three out of four Finns believe that Finns should defend themselves armed, even if the result seems uncertain.

Read more: The will of the Finns to defend their country increased considerably after Russia invaded Ukraine

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Military Sociology professor Teemu Tallberg The National Defense College says the impact of the war on the will to defend the country has been “remarkably clear”.

“The message of the survey results to the outside powers is clear: Finns want to defend their country,” he says.

From the party map, he said, the increase has come precisely from where there has been room, that is, especially from supporters of the Greens and the Left, as well as young adults in general.

“We have come here as if on one front. If there has been a slight downward trend in the will to defend the country in recent years, now this increase will no longer fit into any margin of error, ”says Tallberg.

“This speaks the same language as, for example, the increased interest in voluntary national defense and refresher exercises and, in general, its own role in crisis situations.”

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