Posted 18 января 2022,, 10:17

Published 18 января 2022,, 10:17

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Submarines have been replaced by drones. The "Russian threat" made Swedes panic again

Submarines have been replaced by drones. The "Russian threat" made Swedes panic again

18 января 2022, 10:17
In the last century, Sweden aggressively searched its territorial waters for Soviet submarines, now they claim that Russian reconnaissance drones are flying over the country

Alexander Sychev

Unidentified drones have been spotted over the Swedish nuclear power plants in Forsmark, Oskarshamn and Ringhals. The Swedish State Security Service (SÄPO) has launched an investigation, but no suspects have been identified so far. But Major General Lena Hallin, Sweden's head of military intelligence, nevertheless pinched the nerves of the Swedes, saying that the situation was "far from normal for the country's security."

The Swedish television channel TV2 reported that the drone seen in Forsmark was “a fairly large craft that resisted the wind. And at that time in this area he was strong.” The drone was first seen by a security guard as the drone hovered over the facility and then headed east towards Grösø Island. Authorities scrambled helicopters to locate the drone, but to no avail.

Swedish broadcaster SVT aired a 27-second video taken by a motorist showing a dot glowing in the night sky above the Ringhals nuclear power plant. It's hard to say what it is. The Swedish authorities also hesitated to call it a drone.

In general, these events, if they really took place, could be passed by. But the subsequent comments reminded of the events of the 80s of the last century, and this is already more serious. Then, every autumn, the Swedish military, SÄPO and the media embraced a kind of aggravation of an almost manic nature. The Swedish Navy drove ships through the skerries and jammed Soviet submarines with depth charges. The media portrayed the horrors of Moscow's claim to Swedish sovereignty.

Why it was in the fall that the Swedish Navy began to hear some sounds in the depths of Swedish territorial waters and panic, remained unexplained. It is amazing that the Swedes, who sincerely care about the preservation of nature, did not say a word about the damage caused by deep mines to the wildlife of the Baltic.

It was also surprising how dodgy the "red submarines" were. It cannot be said that they were completely elusive. In 1981, near the Swedish naval base in Karlskrona, in a dense fog, which often happens in the Baltic, an old Soviet submarine S-363 got lost and ran aground. She didn't sneak underwater. She made a trip on the surface. This is done when the ship is already preparing to enter the "home" territorial waters.

The noise was incredible. The Soviet ambassador was called "on the carpet" to the Foreign Ministry, and even to Olof Palma, the prime minister, in his office. By the way, Palme spoke on this topic very calmly, with a slight smile, apparently not really believing in the hype that rose every autumn in the press and the naval fuss in the skerries.

The captain of the submarine apologized - he lost his way, as they say, beguiled the coast. I realized this only when the fog cleared. The submarine stuck aground, like a boil on the eye, becoming irrefutable evidence of Soviet espionage. But since then, the Swedes have not seen a single “red submarine”. Some sounds were regularly heard in the skerries, even jammed with depth charges, but not a single one was sunk or caught.

The hunt for submarines continued until the very collapse of the USSR and even for some time after, until Stockholm noticed the absurdity of the situation - an impoverished Russia cannot spend its meager budget on senseless adventures off the Swedish coast. Then the strange anti-submarine battles ended.

Much later, the Swedish journalist and historian Ola Tunander, relying on documents obtained by him, wrote in his books “Secret War against Sweden” and “Undercover Game” that, if there were submarines in Swedish waters, then not Soviet, but NATO, but Swedish the sailors did not even try to destroy them. The goal of the long joint Swedish-NATO operation was Swedish society. The Swedes, whose minds were greatly influenced by the overly peaceful and democratic Prime Minister Palme, needed to be convinced that without the North Atlantic Alliance, the country could not survive with such a neighbor as the USSR at hand.

Effort, in my opinion, unnecessary. Of course, Sweden officially adhered to an independent policy, which was sometimes even called neutrality, but it was never neutral, and since 1949 it was even considered an unofficial member of NATO. Olof Palme was a magician. He openly criticized us and at the same time allowed military intelligence to cooperate and the Swedish and American navies to interact. I never heard him close the "back door" through which the extensive work was carried out, turning Sweden into a secret member of NATO. The only one who was in the dark was the Swedes themselves.” These words belong to Rodney O'Gliasane Kennedy-Minott, the American ambassador who served in Sweden from 1977 to 1980.

And here is a new fake panic. The Swedish media have linked reports of flying drones heading east to a statement by Lieutenant General Michael Claesson, head of joint operations for the Swedish Armed Forces. He said the other day that the country would strengthen its armed forces based on the island of Gotland in response to the growing presence of Russian amphibious assault ships in the Baltic Sea, and the Russians took offense.

By the way, they began to strengthen Gotland a long time ago. In 2019, for example, Sweden installed an updated missile defense system on the island. This island, the Swedish military suddenly realized, turns out to be a strategically important place - only some 320 km to Kaliningrad, where the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet is located. But Gotland gained significant weight, first of all, in NATO operational calculations. And Sweden is only the owner of this springboard and, at the behest of Brussels, which is whipping up military hysteria, may find itself in a very unpleasant position.

However, shouting is also beneficial for the Swedish military-industrial complex. By 2025, Sweden intends to increase its defense spending to 89 billion crowns ($10.6 billion). This is the largest increase in military spending in the last 70 years. Expenses need to be justified somehow, and for this it is better not to come up with an aggressive eastern neighbor. At the beginning of the 19th century, who destroyed the indestructible army of Charles XII near Poltava? And in 1809, the hussars and Cossacks of the detachment of Major General Yakov Petrovich Kulnev took the Swedish squadron frozen into the ice in the Gulf of Bothnia with a cavalry attack, and then entered Stockholm. Even after that, the Russian Swedes did not infringe on their interests in any way, even when they supplied industrial products to fascist Germany.

Submarines are already boring, but drones are quite in step with modern technologies. The idea, by the way, was suggested by the United States, which for several years has been reporting some unidentified drones flying over their strategically important facilities. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission documents, for example, list 60 drones flying over 24 nuclear sites between 2015 and 2019. It is strange that none of their owners has ever been identified.

And not smart. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, there are more than 1.7 million drones registered in the country, and more and more every year. And private owners are curious to see what happens at closed facilities. In Sweden, I think, there are also quite a few curious drone owners. And third forces have nothing to do with it. Just, if it's so scary, don't let it fly where it's not supposed to. To do this, there are various radio equipment, and the watchman will sleep peacefully.