Afraid of Being Attacked By Russia, Finnish Women Take Part In Military Training

Afraid of Being Attacked By Russia, Finnish Women Take Part In Military Training
Finnish Women Take Part In Military Training

International Military - Just days after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Finnish businessman Sissi Moberg began scouring the Internet for courses that could teach skills to help defend Finland in the event of a military attack.

"I feel really bad for Ukraine. And then I started to worry about Finland and think what can I do about this," the 46-year-old mother of four told Reuters.

Within weeks, Moberg had been in courses devoted to reservists and learning how to use weapons and move on the battlefield.

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The war in Ukraine has sounded a major alarm in Finland, which shares a 1,300km border with Russia. During World War II, Finland fought two wars against the Soviet Union which cost a tenth of its territory.

About 100,000 Finns were killed. Spurred on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Finland decided on its decades-long domestic defense and security policy last month when it applied for membership in the NATO military alliance.

The Finnish Women's National Emergency Preparedness Association said demand for their courses had spiked since February. "Right after the war broke out, our phones started ringing and emails came in and of course the demand for training increased," said Suvi Aksela, the association's head of communications.

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Last week, Moberg returned again, this time on a survival training course organized by the Women's Preparedness Association at a military base in Hattula, 100km from Helsinki. Over three days, she and more than 300 other women learned how to set up camp, light a fire in the rain, navigate through the forest and perform first aid.

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