Russian special forces staged a mock invasion of island near Finland

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AP_16305584536994
Soldiers
parachute from a Mil Mi-8 transport helicopter with a Russian
flag during a 2014 military exercise. Russian commandos did a
similar exercise on a mock assault of an
island.

Darko
Vojinovic/AP


  • Russian special forces staged a mock invasion of an
    island in the Gulf of Finland just days before President Donald
    Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in
    the Finnish capital. 
  • This exercise comes amid increasing concern from many
    European countries about Russian aggression in the region in
    the wake of the 2014 annexation of Crimea. 
  • Meanwhile, as Trump prepares to meet Putin, some NATO
    member states seem to be concerned he’s too soft on the Russian
    leader and doesn’t really value the historic
    alliance. 
  • Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki on
    July 16. 

Russian special forces staged a mock invasion of an island in the
Gulf of Finland just days before President Donald Trump is set to
meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Finnish
capital. 

The Russian forces parachuted onto the island of Gogland, which
is part of Russia but located roughly 70 miles from Helsinki,
from
Mi-8AMTSH helicopter at
an altitude of 2,500 meters.
The soldiers used
satellite equipment to steer themselves to the landing site,
according to a July 10 press
release
from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Once 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,
Defense One reports

The island is equipped with a helipad, but after destroying the
targets the soldiers prepared a landing site for the helicopter
for their escape. 

The soldiers who participated in the mock invasion had “not
less than a hundred jumps with parachutes of various types,”
according to the Russian Defense Ministry statement.

This exercise comes amid increasing concern from many
European countries about Russian agression in the region in the
wake of the 2014 annexation of Crimea. 

Meanwhile, as Trump prepares to meet with Putin, some NATO
member states seem to be concerned he’s too soft on the Russian
leader and doesn’t fully value the historic
alliance. 

At the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, Trump baffled
and angered other NATO leaders when
he suggested Germany is “controlled” by Russia
in relation to
an energy partnership between the two countries. 

Trump was widely criticized for his rhetoric and demeanor at the
summit. Nicholas Burns, a former US ambassador to
NATO, accused the president of “diplomatic malpractice” and
expressed concern over Trump’s disposition toward
Putin. 

“You cannot imagine any American president all the way back
75 years deciding to become the critic-in-chief of NATO,” Burns
said on Wednesday. “I mean, it’s Orwellian. He’s making our
friends out to be our enemies and treating our enemies, like
Putin, as our friends, and he’s misrepresenting the
facts.”

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki on July
16.

Prior to departing for Europe on Tuesday, the president
suggested he was
most looking forward to his summit with the Russian
leader

“I have NATO, I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil,
and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all.
Who would think? Who would think?” Trump said at the White
House.