Armored vehicles were pictured rolling through the streets of a Swedish town as military cited ‘tensions’ between Russia and Ukraine The Swedish Armed Forces infantry vehicles are seen in the port of Visby, Sweden, on January 14, 2022. © Global Look Press / Aftonbladet / Andreas Bardell

Sweden has moved to ramp up security on the largest Baltic Sea island of Gotland as part of “adapting” its security strategy to the “tense situation” on the Russian-Ukrainian border, located some 1,700 kilometers south-east.

Residents of a sleepy town of Visby located on the Swedish island of Gotland awoke to the sound of heavy military hardware roaring through their streets on Saturday. The Swedish Army’s Stridsfordon 90 infantry fighting vehicles had arrived overnight to secure the tranquil coastal town and its port.

A rapid response tactical unit of the Swedish Armed Forces has been deployed to the island, the military said in a statement on Saturday. A part of the unit was flown in on Friday evening by the US C-17 heavy transport aircraft as part of Sweden’s “international collaboration” program while the rest arrived by ferry from mainland Sweden.

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The Swedish military said that the effort “should be seen” as part of Sweden adapting its strategy “to the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine,” which has been grabbing media headlines for several months. The US and its NATO allies have claimed that Russian troops are set to invade the neighboring Ukraine as soon as January or February. Moscow has dismissed the statements as “fake news.”

The deployment “does not have to mean an increased threat” level, the Swedish Armed Forces’ Chief of Operations, Michael Claesson, told the media. Speaking to AP, he also cited an allegedly increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea which “deviates from the normal picture.”

While Claesson comments seemingly downplayed an immediate “Russian threat,” articles published in the Swedish media on Saturday talked about the military strengthening their position as they prepare to defend “Sweden’s most vulnerable place.” (RT)