Ever since September 22nd, Finland has been taking part in a narrative that may as well have come out of a James Bond movie. Finnish authorities took part in 17 raids, one of which on Sakkiluoto, a private island and other properties in Western Finland in a crackdown on “secret Russian military bases” according to speculation.
“The seafront sauna, stacked with fresh towels, looked ready for use, as did the barbecue pits and other amenities on an island that seemed like the luxurious lair of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the fictional villain of James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming,” the NYT reported.
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Officially, Finnish authorities are investigating a Russian real estate company over money laundering. However, on September 22nd, Finland’s Keskusrikospoliisi (KRP), or National Bureau of Investigation (Finnish FBI) led a raid on the private island Sakkiluoto. The island is owned by Russian businessmen Pavel Melnikov through his Finnish-based company Airiston Helmi.
Local police, Finnish border guard, Finland’s national customs agency, and the Finnish Defense Forces all took part in the massive operation, which also targeted 16 other sites linked to Melnikov and his associates. All in all, more than 400 personnel took part in the operations. Helicopters and a Dornier Do-228 surveillance plane watched overhead, and authorities put a no-fly-zone into place over the Turku Archipelago where Sakkiluoto is situated.
Since Melnikov purchased the island, workers have constructed nine docks, a helipad, “barracks-like housing,” security cameras, motion detectors and signs warning against trespassing. According to the Drive all of them are without any apparent purpose.
The result of the operations was that Finnish authorities arrested two unnamed individuals. One of them is a Russian citizen who has since been deported back to St. Petersburg and an Estonian of Russian origin. The KRP also announced they seized cash in various currencies and $3.5 million worth of euros.
The NYT also claimed that the investigators recovered computers and flash drives allegedly containing more than 100 terabytes of data. The outlet also noted that this amount is equal to “50 times the print collection of the US Library of Congress.”
According to local media, Finnish military and intelligence agencies had been monitoring Melnikov’s tourism company Airiston Helmi for years. As the War Zone reports, a state broadcaster alleged that the Russian government had made suspicious real estate purchases that “raised suspicions within the Finnish government and suggested that the Kremlin could be engaged in a ‘hybrid warfare’ campaign.”
When Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Helsinki, several days after the raids, reporters asked him if Russia was preparing landing zones for military helicopters. However, he dismissed the suggestion as “paranoid,” adding: “I don’t know in whose sick mind such a thought could be formulated.”
This hysteria first began when several days before the July 16th Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, Russian special forces allegedly staged a mock invasion of an island in the Gulf of Finland. The Russian forces parachuted onto the island of Gogland, which is part of Russia but located roughly 70 miles from Helsinki, from a Mi-8AMTSH helicopter at an altitude of 2,500 meters.
According to a July 10th Press Release from the Russian Ministry of Defense, the soldiers used satellite equipment to steer themselves to the landing site. Once they came on the ground, the Russian forces camouflaged their parachutes and headed into the interior of the island to destroy a series of mock communications stations, radars, and ASM batteries.
The soldiers destroyed mock targets and despite the island being equipped with a helipad constructed a field landing pad for the helicopter to secure their extraction.
According to the release, the soldiers that took part in the drill had “not less than 100 jumps with parachutes of various types.”
Typically, seeing China’s artificial islands, Russia cannot afford to lag behind in its “aggression” and has allegedly began preparing non-artificial ones. However, as any self-respecting Bond villain with his own private island, the mastermind will only reveal his plan when it is too late, and everything is put into motion. The island is also in close proximity to Sweden’s shores. After all as it has become apparent, Sweden has ample experience in discovering foreign, and mostly Russian submarines in its territorial waters. It would not be surprising if media reports apear that these submarines were operating from the “secreat Russian military base” on Sakkiluoto.
There is no evidence that there are any actual secret Russian military bases on any Finnish or any other islands. This is just another example of how mainstream media hysteria instills a sense of paranoia and fear in individuals and attempts to paint China, Russia or Iran as the “enemy,” in recent months and years.