Sweden reintroduces conscription amid conflict fears

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an increase in the intensity of ‘snap readiness combat checks’ for military forces on his ‘western enclave’ of Kaliningrad – which is only 200 miles from the Swedish coast – prompting the Stockholm government to reintroduce conscription.

The 6,000 square mile area south of Lithuania is Putin’s only port in the Baltic which remains ice free around the year. 

Last year, Putin deployed his feared SA-21 Growler anti-aircraft missile system to the enclave – covering his naval base.

The Growler, pictured, is one of the most advanced air defence missile systems in the world and is being deployed widely across Russia's western border providing cover for troops from western air attack. It can even shoot down incoming missiles

Sweden has reintroduced military conscription over conflict fears in Eastern Europe as Vladimir Putin continues to prepare Russia for war

Sweden has announced the reintroduction of conscription as a result of the increased Russian aggression in the Baltic region

The young conscripts will join the army at 18 and spend approximately 11 months with the service

Now, the system is operational and can protect his ships, troops and ballistic missiles from air attack.

Sweden has reintroduced military conscription over conflict fears in Eastern Europe as Vladimir Putin continues to prepare Russia for war.

The Nordic country’s government approved plans to bring the system back amid difficulties filling the ranks on a voluntary basis.

Sweden mothballed compulsory military service in 2010, but military activity in the Baltic region has increased since, in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The Scandinavian nation is concerned over Russia’s military build-up around the Baltic – including the massive increase in military activity in Kaliningrad.

Putin’s military build-up in the region is being carried out under the umbrella of his Growler missile system – which he calls the S-400 Triumf.

Putin’s military build-up in the region is being carried out under the umbrella of his Growler missile system – which he calls the S-400 Triumf.

The Nordic country's government ruled today on bringing the system back amid difficulties filling the ranks on a voluntary basis (file picture)

Russian troops have been increasing the frequency and intensity of its readiness drills, prompting fear in the west

Putin even ordered a Russian flotilla through the English Channel last October for a brief deployment to the Mediterranean

Putin has also sent his strategic bomber fleet on missions, testing UK and NATO response times to the sorties

Last month, Putin ordered a massive readiness exercise to prepare the area for air attack.

Roman Martov of the Baltic Fleet’s air defence arm told the Tass news agency: ‘Under the drills’ plan, the fleet’s radar reconnaissance has practiced detecting a notional enemy’s air attack in the designated area of responsibility and aiming the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system to destroy the targets detected. The combat crews of the Pantsyr-S1 anti-aircraft missile/gun system provided cover for the S-400 complexes.’

Roman Martov of the Baltic Fleet’s air defence arm told the Tass news agency: ‘Under the drills’ plan, the fleet’s radar reconnaissance has practiced detecting a notional enemy’s air attack in the designated area of responsibility and aiming the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system to destroy the targets detected. The combat crews of the Pantsyr-S1 anti-aircraft missile/gun system provided cover for the S-400 complexes.’

Putin has deployed his Growlers from an area covering his Northern fleet, down along Russia’s western border and into the Crimea.

He also has Growlers based in Syria, covering much of the Mediterranean – including RAF Akrotiri.

NATO is deploying troops to Estonia as a response to the increasingly hostile actions of the Russians.

More than 1,000 troops from Britain, France and Denmark will arrive this month.

Putin even ordered a Russian flotilla through the English Channel last October for a brief deployment to the Mediterranean

Russian troops have been increasing the frequency and intensity of its readiness drills, prompting fear in the west 

NATO has also deployed reinforcements to Poland on its eastern flank.

In September, non-NATO-member Sweden stationed permanent troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist described the move as sending a signal after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its ‘increasing pressure’ on the neighboring Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

There have also been reports of airspace violations by Russia’s military aircraft in the Baltics and a military buildup in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which sits across the Baltic Sea from Sweden.

Under the plan approved Thursday, at least 4,000 18-year-olds could be called up each year.

Enrolment should be made possible from July 1, and basic military training with compulsory service from January 1.

Swedes will still be able to volunteer for military service.

Sweden expects eventually that 13,000 young people will be called upon and 4,000 will be enrolled.

Conscription was introduced in Sweden in 1901, but had gradually winded down and was formally canceled 109 years later. During the Cold War era, nearly 85 per cent of Swedish men were drafted into the army due to the nearby threat of the Soviet Union. The average term of service was around 11 months.

In 2015, Sweden’s military expenditure dropped to 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product, down from 2.5 percent in 1991 as the Cold War came to an end, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Sweden also said it was going to increase military spending by 15 per cent because of the Russian threat.

The Scandinavian nation is concerned over Russia’s military build-up around the Baltic – including the massive increase in military activity in Kaliningrad. 

Sweden has announced the reintroduction of conscription as a result of the increased Russian aggression in the Baltic region

Sweden, which is not a NATO member, is upgrading its military, with a sharp hike in spending (file picture of Swedish jets)

Last month, Putin ordered a massive readiness exercise to prepare the area for air attack. 

Putin has deployed his Growlers from an area covering his Northern fleet, down along Russia’s western border and into the Crimea. 

He also has Growlers based in Syria, covering much of the Mediterranean – including RAF Akrotiri. 

NATO is deploying troops to Estonia as a response to the increasingly hostile actions of the Russians. 

More than 1,000 troops from Britain, France and Denmark will arrive this month.  

NATO has also deployed reinforcements to Poland on its eastern flank.  

It has reassigned troops to the Baltic Sea island of Gotland and urged local governments to step up contingency planning for a future war.

 

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