This tiny European country is already prepping for WWIII
Finland is known for its picturesque winters, its world-class education system, and its capital, Helsinki, which routinely tops global lists of the worldâs most liveable cities.
But it also has a fragile history. The tiny European nation shares a long border with Russia, and despite celebrating a century of independence, the threat of its larger neighbor constantly looms in the background.
Finland has an ongoing policy of political neutrality and was recently ranked as the worldâs happiest country. But itâs always prepared for war.
How Finland has prepared for outside attacks
Deep beneath the streets of Helsinki lies an elaborate network of tunnels an d caverns capable of housing the cityâs entire population of 640,000.
The bunker is equipped with food, bedding, medical facilities, and even an underground ice skating rink, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported.
Many of the areas are for public use, including parking lots, swimming pools, childrenâs playgrounds and shopping malls. In the winter, residents use them to escape the freezing climate.
But if a fierce conflict was to break out, these shelters could house people underground for up to two weeks.
According to the public broadcaster, it will hold 240 bathrooms and a specific area where people can shower if theyâve been contaminated during a chemical attack.
Experts say Russia is the only real threat to the smaller country, and the only reason these bunkers might be used for their intended purpose.
The Finnish capital is located around 155 miles from the Russian border.
Why Finland is suspicious of Russia
Finland was officially declared independent of Russia just over a century ago, but it remains a potential target for its neighbor.
The smaller country had struggled for more than 100 years to assert its independence from Moscow, before the Finnish Declaration of Independence was finally signed in 1917.
The two countries have long shared a border, and Finland has suffered a history of invasion by Russia.
Their relationship inspired an actual term called âFinlandizationâ â" the process of being obliged to accept the interests of a more powerful neighboring country, in order to keep its independence and own political system.
Thereâs been a lot of discussion around the prospective outbreak of war recently.
Last week, Donald Trump suggested the US could be drawn into a major global conflict with Russia if it had to defend a smaller country that itâs obligated to protect under NATO, like Montenegro.
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If Russia was to go to war with the west, Finland â" as its closest neighbor â" would be in a vulnerable position.
The fact that the recent Trump-Vladimir Putin summit was held in Helsinki is a testament to Finlandâs neutrality.
The country has a long history of holding summits between the US and the former Soviet Union, having taken a politically neutral stance on the conflict.
Finland has long sought to balance the interests of its enormous neighbor with its own independence â" maintaining a collegial relationship with Russia while still maintaining a presence in wider Europe.
This balancing act in part explains why Finland is part of the European Union but not NATO.
According to Deutsche Welle, Germanyâs public international broadcaster, the majority of Finns do not want to join the organization because it would be seen as provoking Russia.
Putin emerged as the real winner from the Helsinki summit last week.
Instead of standing up to the Russian dictator, Trump blamed his own country for tense US-Russia relations, called his own US intelligence officials liars, and refused to denounce Russia for interfering in US democracy.
Last week, Finlandâs foreign minister, Timo Soini, warned that Russia might try to carve out a peacemaker role for itself following the summit.
Some Finnish analysts raised concerns that, with the World Cup out of the way, Russia might embark on an unpredictable power play rather similar to its annexation of Crimea, which came soon after it had held the Winter Oly mpic Games in 2014.
âI think that after the World Cup and after this summit, there will be no such thing (like Crimea),â said Soini.
â(Moscow) might surprise in other ways â¦ because they have much more in hand to give up now than what they had back then. They might be a peacemaker in Ukraine, in Syria, in nuclear weapons.â
Letâs hope Finland wonât have to use its bunkers for anything more than a respite from its chilly weather.Source: Google News Finland | Netizen 24 Finland