With tensions raised across Europe over a newly belligerent Russia, Sweden s military and the United States Marines, a drill was conducted on Sunday on Gotland, a Swedish island with strategic significance for the control of the Baltic Sea.
Col. Magnus Frykvall, commander of Sweden's Gotland regiment, said in a telephone interview that a lot of people thought that there wouldn't be a need to defend Gotland after Soviet collapse. Since the Ukraine war in 2014, this has been put in a totally new point of view, and it was even more clear to us with the current invasion. The nation applied for membership in NATO after fear of military conflict with Russia, which seemed unimaginable in Sweden a long time ago. Sweden, like Russia, borders the Baltic Sea, so Gotland is a critical area of concern. Gotland is the largest island in the Baltic Sea.