Number of Finns willing to take arms to defend country at all-time high

A record 83% of Finland’s population is ready to militarily defend their country, the highest according to a survey conducted by the Finnish Advisory Board for Defence Information (ABDI) in late April. [Shutterstock/Bumble Dee]

More than four out of five Finns are ready to take arms and defend their country in case of an attack, while interest in voluntary training exercises is also rising.

A record 83% of Finland’s population is ready to militarily defend their country, the highest according to a survey conducted by the Finnish Advisory Board for Defence Information (ABDI) in late April.

The numbers, highest since the survey started in the 1960s, have also been accompanied by a rise of interest in voluntary training exercises.

Acknowledging that, the government granted on Friday (20 May) €3 million for national defence organisations. It is also preparing a legal amendment to enable volunteers to use weapons and ammunition of the Finnish military.

“It can be said that the political and security situation has a big effect. And Russia’s attack on Ukraine can be seen in the number of applications (for non-military reserves),” said the Head of the Non-military Service Centre Mikko Reijonen in an interview with the tabloid Iltalehti on Monday (23 May).

According to the Constitution, every male Finnish citizen aged 18-60 is liable for military service, and women can apply for military service voluntarily. A person must complete either armed or unarmed military service or non-military service. After completing service, they are assigned to the Finnish Defence Forces’ reserve.

At the same time, this year, more than 2,000 Finnish citizens who have completed their military service have resigned from the Defence Forces’ reserves.

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