According to the Rural Future Survey, two-thirds of Finns believe that the country has sufficient military capabilities to defend itself against attack.
One in four respondents doubts Finland’s defense capability.
Continued tensions have led to increasingly strained relations between Russia and the West and raised fears of a resurgence of conflict in the region.
The study found significant differences in trust between the urban and rural communities in the military. The former seems to be generally more skeptical, but rural residents are more likely to believe in the country’s ability to defend itself.
Confidence in Finland’s military performance is lowest in the Helsinki metropolitan area, where one in three respondents does not believe that the defense forces could protect the entire country in the event of an attack.
Age also seems to be an influential factor. According to the survey, those under 30 and over 64 believe that Finland is able to defend itself sufficiently, while middle-aged people have less faith in the country’s military competence.
The questionnaire also included specific questions related to the autonomous island region of Åland.
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Less than half of the respondents believed that Finland would be able to protect the province quite well. About one in ten believes that Åland would be vulnerable to attack.
The Swedish-speaking island region is autonomous, neutral and demilitarized, which means that any military presence and fortress is strictly prohibited. However, historical agreements oblige Finland to protect the islands from security threats.
Åland was recently the subject of a security debate because of its strategically important location when Russian warships appeared in the Baltic Sea.
1,030 respondents living in Finland participated in the survey conducted in the last two weeks. The sample did not include any Ålanders.
Source: The Nordic Page