New satellite images show Russia's strike ability near Finland - Finnish major: not enough for a surprise attack on Finland
In this story, you will be able to explore Russian military bases with the help of accurate satellite images. Images have been obtained from commercial satellite companies.
Behind the border
See satellite images of what the Russian armed forces near Finland look like.
Finland's membership in the military alliance NATO may lead Russia to significantly increase its equipment at the border. However, due to the losses suffered in Ukraine, it will take a long time.
Russia has more than ten garrisons and bases near Finland. Among them are two teams specializing in Arctic conditions, new fighters, and Iskander missiles. The whole is still weaker than it was decades ago.
- There is no possibility that with the help of these forces, for example, a kind of surprise attack on Finland could be carried out, says a military expert, Major Evp. Marko Eklund.
Eklund, who analyzes images for Yle, has been monitoring the Russian armed forces for more than 20 years. Eight objects of most interests to Finland have been selected for the story.
A unit equipped for Arctic conditions that have been spared the war in Ukraine
The most significant Russian unit for Finland north of the Arctic Circle is located in Alakurti, at the height of Salla.
There is an 80th Arctic Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Alakurt garrison. It is a light motorized unit with armored crew vehicles but not, for example, combat armored vehicles.
Instead of the normal about 4,000, the brigade in Alakurt has only about 2,000 soldiers. It is equipped and trained to work in the darkness and cold of the Arctic.
The strongest force in the Russian army in the direction of Finland
In the area of Kamenka or Kaukjärvi in Finnish, there is a forested forest. It is the 138th motorized infantry brigade training area.
The brigade is the strongest force in the Russian army in the direction of Finland. Its soldiers, equipment, and ammunition are on permanent alert.
Missiles that reach the whole of southern Finland
If Russia strengthens its forces due to Finland's and Sweden's NATO membership, one possible target is located south of St. Petersburg in Luga.
There is an infantry brigade in the area, which has been less equipped than the Kamenka forces on the Karelian coast. According to Ukrainian sources, the Luga unit was withdrawn from Russia in the early stages of the Ukrainian war due to heavy losses.
However, there is also another unit in Luga that is more important for Finland: the 26th Missile Brigade.
Emptying the depot would indicate a major operation elsewhere Outside the main city of Petrozavodsk, Russia has the largest concentration of equipment near the Finnish border.
Artillery, armor, and vehicles have been assembled for the depot. If necessary, they can assemble the equipment for one motorized infantry brigade of about 4,000 soldiers.
The majority of the equipment is stored in the sky. Therefore, from the depot in Petrozavodsk, it is easier to see many other bases what is happening there.
A number of Russia's newest multipurpose fighters
The opponents of the Finnish Hornet fighters can be found at the Besovets air base near the city of Petrozavodsk.
The base uses the same runways as the Petrozavodsk Civil Airport, located 20 kilometers northwest of the center. The base is used by 159. Fighter Flight Regiment.
During the Continuation War, the same airport was used by the Finnish Air Force as Äänislinna military airport and was also known as Vietnam Airport.
A large number of helicopters within easy reach South of St. Petersburg is Pushkin's base, which reveals several details through satellite imagery. There is 332th Helicopter Flight Regiment on the ground.
There is a lot of equipment on site. Helicopters are easy to identify and count because there are no halls in the area.
A group of champions who took their wings in Ukraine
In Pskov, near the Estonian border, ground troops have failed as bases in the war in Ukraine. The troops have suffered losses and, according to Ukrainian sources, have also partially refused to fight.
Landing forces include paratroopers as well as airstrike forces, which move primarily by helicopter.
The area is home to the 76th Air Strike Division, 334. Transport Flight Regiment and the GRU Special Forces Brigade of the Russian Military Intelligence.
The Pskov units operate in four different garrisons in the region.
“Black Hole” - the only submarine in the Gulf of Finland
Kronstadt is the most important military port in Russia in the Gulf of Finland. On the island off St. Petersburg, in addition to surface vessels, the only submarine in use in the Baltic Sea is based.
A tourist can also see the Kronstadt base when cruising to St. Petersburg, as the shipping lane runs right next to the base.