Finland holds war drills alongside US soldiers ahead of NATO bid

NIINISALO, Finland – Armored vehicles kick up dirt cues as fatigue-clad soldiers, their faces freshly smeared with camouflage paint, crouch in the pine forest here on Wednesday, part of a large-scale military exercise before Finland prepares to break decades of defense policy and apply to join NATO.

More than 3,000 Finnish soldiers are taking part in the two-week exercise alongside hundreds of American, British, Estonian and Latvian soldiers, overshadowed by growing fears that Russia’s war in Ukraine could spread to other parts from Europe. A series of other exercises involving members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its allies took place this spring and will continue through the summer and will include the largest integrated land exercise of air and missiles, in Poland and the Baltic States, in June. .


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