Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Pekka Toveri doesn’t believe in “horror scenario” of eastern border – warns Russia could still tighten the screws


Toveri warned that Finland should prepare for even tougher measures by Russia on its eastern border.

Former intelligence chief of the General Staff and member of parliament Pekka Toveri (Kok) tops his assessment of Russian special forces or Wagner forces on asylum seekers leave.

– It can’t be completely ruled out, but I don’t think it’s very likely, Toveri reflects.

The matter came up for public discussion over the weekend, when Parliament Speaker Jussi Halla-aho (PS) discussed Russia’s intentions for a hybrid operation on the social media service X.

– We know that Russia sends well-equipped young men to the border. We can conclude that Russia has a reason to act this way. The question arises: how can some of us be so sure that the visitors are not Russian special forces or Wagner’s mercenaries? Halla-Aho wrote in the message thread on the weekend.

Toveri believes that if Russia’s aim were, for example, to infiltrate special forces inside Finland’s borders for subversion, they would be tried completely peacefully mixing with the regular population and They will be saved from coming under the blame of the authorities.

Furthermore, he reminds that Wagner is not a Russian special forces.

– There may be some people with Special Forces background, but mostly they are not Special Forces. In general, Wagner has been successful where there is room to work and resistance is not strong.

Read more: Asylum seeker who reached Finland by bicycle: Russian authorities helped him reach the Finnish border from Vyborg

In recent weeks, Russia has been moving asylum seekers from third countries to the border between Finland and Russia. In response, Finland decided to close part of the eastern border. The authorities’ understanding is that people are brought to the border and are no longer allowed to cross back into the Russian border.

Toveri considers closing the border the right decision for Finland’s national security.

– Some people believe that one should not panic when only a few hundred asylum seekers have arrived. I think the machinery here is being put in place right now and Russia has the capacity to bring thousands of people to the border.


I think the machinery here is being put in place right now and Russia has the capacity to bring thousands of people to the border.

– Russia apparently has several million foreign workers and a large number of citizens from third countries. Since there is no rule of law in Russia, they can arrest these individuals and push them towards the border.

Toveri speculates that one of Russia's motivations for the border crisis is to use it to advantage in its internal politics.

Toveri speculates that one of Russia’s motivations for the border crisis is to use it to advantage in its internal politics. Photo: Alexey Jalava

The comrade warned that Russia may still have many tools in its back pocket to threaten Finland.

– We will see whether Finland’s measures are sufficient or whether they still try to tighten the screws.

He refers to Belarus’s actions on the Polish border in the summer of 2021.

– Then the Belarusians forced the asylum seekers to the border and did not let them go back. They were helped to bypass entry points and harassed Polish border guards, for example by blinding them with lasers. The asylum seekers were also armed. While we know that Russia and Belarus are like a shirt and a butt, we should also be prepared for more drastic measures than currently.

Read more: Russians are told absurd stories about Finland’s border closure – here are the 9 most prominent “theories”

One motive for the hybrid operation is Russia’s desire to use Finland for its internal political propaganda.

– Here we are telling our people that the Finns have been planning to close the border for a long time and are using this situation to make life difficult for Russians living in Finland, because the Finns are Russophobes. With this narrative, Toveri analyzed, it is said that the West is bad and therefore we need a strong president.

The border crisis did not surprise the comrade.

– Unfortunately, no way. For the second year running, many experts and even politicians have warned that Russia is escalating hybrid warfare. And when Finland joined NATO, it warned that Russia would escalate a hybrid war against Finland, as Finland should be punished.

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