[Ed. – You can take the Baltic out of the Cold War, but you can’t take the Cold War out of the Baltic. Or something.]
The Swedish armed forces stepped up a military operation off the coast of Stockholm on Saturday where they were investigating a report of “foreign underwater activity”.
More than 200 men, Swedish stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters have been searching an area of the Baltic Sea about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Swedish capital since Friday evening, following a tip-off from what the military called a “credible source”.
“I have decided to increase the number of units in the area — units with specialised sensors,” Commander Jonas Wikstroem told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm.
“We still judge that the information we received yesterday was very trustworthy,” he added…
In recent months, Sweden has seen an uptick in Baltic Sea manoeuvres by the Russian air force. In one incident in September, two SU-24 fighter-bombers allegedly entered Swedish airspace in what Foreign Minister Carl Bildt at the time called “the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians” in almost a decade.
During the 1980s and early 90s the then-neutral — and now non-aligned — Nordic country was regularly on alert following Russian submarine sightings, including one notable case in 1981 when a Soviet U-boat ran aground several miles from one of Sweden’s largest naval base.