Author Topic: INSCOM Intelligence Report 23JUN21 - Profile of Virolahti, Finland  (Read 3619 times)

1st Lt (Ret) Hardman

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23 JUNE 2021

(S) Local History and Profile of Virolahti, Finland


(C) Local History

(U) The municipality of Virolahti is situated in south east Finland, nestled against the Russian border, the predominant feature of which is a 20km section of Finnish National Road 7 (Finnish: Valtatie 7) (Vt7). Vt7 spans 193km from Erottaja, Helsinki to Vaalimaa, Virolahti and is a section of European Route 18 (E18). Originally a duplication of Road 170, Vt7 has been under construction since the project started in 2014, with maintenance and upgrades expected to continue right through to the end of the current contract period in 2034. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency anticipates a 60% reduction in crashes resulting in injury and is the major reason for the ongoing works.

(U) The southernmost municipality of Finland, Virolahti is home to only 3,000 people across its 558km2, due to a third of its area being water and approximately three-quarters of the land area being dedicated to agricultural and forestry industries. The resulting population is predominantly housed in Virojoki - the largest population centre by far - with the remaining population distributed through over 30 small villages. These small villages tend to form small community groups and are often connected to a hub town, which in turn connects to Virojoki, via one of only 6 main roads in the municipality.

(U) Virolahti has a long and complicated history with their Russian neighbours, having been an autonomous province of the Russian Empire between 1809 and 1917, and then losing over 100km2 (and 10 villages) to the Soviet Union in 1947. However, presently, there is seemingly little tension between civilians with Russian nationals being quite common along Vt7, with their heavy commercial vehicles making a significant share of the road's traffic as they serve the main trade route between Helsinki and St Petersburg. Seasonal Russian workers will also transit via Vt7 for Lappeenranta, situated along Vt6 approximately 70km north northwest of Virolahti.

(C) To say nothing for the flow-on effects, the construction of Vt7 has cost the region over 370 million since 2015 and is of major local significance - damage and disruption to this critical trade route are strictly to be avoided. The small, primary production, communities of Virolahti are not expected to be resilient enough to sustain widespread damage or disruption to their industry and properties, which again needs to be considered when operating in the area.

(S) Regional Profile

(C) Due to irregularities in distribution of civilians and major structures along Vt7, S-2 will be analyzing Virolahti by breaking the municipality down into four districts, based on cardinal directions.

(S) North East Districts - The Northeast is dominated by the major city of VIROJOKI, and the nearby oil processing facility (turned COP) of COP SAHKOA. As with all oil and gas interests in the region, these are expected to be well defended by SafeAsia (SA), including anti-air defenses designed to reduce air assault mobility. A short distance north out of the city is Nakarinmaki Airport, which is a busy cargo hub which also supports seasonal workers and a small volume of tourist/personal travel. IMINT is showing increased activity in the area of the airport - S-2 has assigned it the name of AIRBASE PAKOTTAA pending final confirmation of the assets on the ground. The AIRBASE is expected to contain anti-air assets, and the capability of deploying both fixed and rotary aircraft. A recent observation flight identified significant construction activities occurring on the site of a civilian forestry settlement. S-2 investigations suggest planned construction in the area. This recommendation has thus resulted in the designation of COP NYKYINEN as a potential OPFOR site.

(S) South East Districts - Southeast Virolahti has been a popular holiday spot as far back as the 1900's when Russian Emperor Nicholas II took up an estate on the coastline and used it as a frequent holiday destination. This estate became known as Hanski, and was eventually turned into a small village for worker accommodation for the nearby forestry. Multiple intelligence sources are reporting a significant level of activity in the settlement, with some sources stating headquarters and intelligence units taking up residence. As a result, following S2's recommendation, the settlement is now designated COP ENERGIA - however details regarding specific fortifications remain unknown. This estate is not the only civilian infrastructure to be taken over on the coastline. Nearby, S2 has noticed a significent uptick in VHF and AIS signal bands, which suggest the seafarers' village of Hurppu has been seized to create COP LATAA and the newly upgraded forestry port fortified to create COP TUUMA. Both LATAA and TUUMA have the ability to be highly mobile - via air and sea - and their remote location will provide defenders early warning of any patrols against these locations. SATINT has revealed an immense excavation effort taking place on another old forestry property, but S-2 has been unable to uncover purpose or any consistent enemy composition - it has been denoted as COP KATIONA for the time being.

(S) North West Districts - The Northwest of Virolahti is home to a number of small farming villages in two predominant communities. The western communities of Pilspa, Suopelto and Uski, and the eastern communities of Aarre, Harjula, Hirvela, Toipela, and Uutela. Intelligence sources point to major enemy presences throughout both communities, with new COPs established central to both of them - COP NOPEUS in the west and COP VAHVISTIN in the east.

(S) South West Districts - The remaining two known enemy installations in the southwest both present major threats to ongoing operations in the region. Captured enemy personnel from Task Force Alpha [OOW 02-21 TFA]'s assault on COP MASSA prove the existence of another, unknown, enemy presence in Virolahti - the same force is expected to occupy the well-equipped FARP VIRTAUS located just outside the town of Harju, and the artillery battery of COP KEVYT. S-2 is actively debriefing the 6x OPFOR POWs and further intelligence will be distributed as soon as it becomes available.

Classified By: S-2 Intelligence
Reason: 1.4(a)
Declassify On: 20360624


1st Lt, USAF