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Finland vows to FIGHT if attacked by Vladimir Putin.

The head of Finland’s armed forces said his countrymen would fight Putin’s forces tooth-and-claw if attacked.

Finland has been preparing for a Russian attack for decades, its armed forces chief said.

Scandinavia has a large arsenal. General Timo Kivinen said motivation is more important than military hardware.

“The most important line of defense is between one’s ears,” Kivinen said.

Finland fought two WWII wars against its 1,300-km (810-mile) eastern neighbor.

Once a non-aligned country, it now wants to join NATO over fears Russia will invade as it did Ukraine on February 24.

Helsinki has been military-ready since World War II.

“We have systematically developed our military defense for this type of warfare (in Ukraine),” Kivinen said.

Ukraine and Finland are difficult for Russia.

During the two wars, 100,000 Finns died. Finland lost a tenth of its land to the USSR.

The 5.5-million-person nation has 280,000 wartime troops and 870,000 reservists. It didn’t abolish male conscription after the Cold War-like many western nations.

It has one of Europe’s strongest artilleries and 370-km-range cruise missiles (230 miles). Spends 2% of GDP on defense, more than many NATO countries.

Lockheed Martin will supply four warships and 64 F-35 fighter jets.

It plans to order up to 2,000 drones and is building barriers on its border with Russia.

82% of respondents in a May 18 defense ministry poll said they would defend Finland if attacked.

Kivinen welcomed Finland’s NATO application. Finland and Sweden are discussing Turkey’s opposition to their applications with Turkey.

Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Turkey anger Ankara.

Joining NATO’s joint airspace control would boost Finland’s early warning capacity, Kivinen said.

Finland would benefit from an alliance where an attack on one member is an attack on all, he said.

“Finland’s defense is still Finland’s responsibility,” he said.

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