Russia carried out a simulated attack on the Danish island of Bornholm over the summer at the precise time that the island was occupied by countless politicians and journalists for the annual political meeting Folkemødet.
The revelation was made by the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste – DDIS) in its national risk assessment released on Thursday.
According to DDIS, Russian military jets equipped with live missiles flew at a low altitude toward Bornholm before breaking off the route and turning back around.
The military exercise took place in June at the same time that around 90,000 guests visited the island for Folkemødet, a ‘political festival’ that gathers politicians, journalists, activists and over 600 different organisations for four days of events.
DDIS did not release concrete details about the simulated attack but characterised it as the largest Russian military exercise over the Baltic Sea since 1991 and “of a more offensive character than observed in recent years”.
DDIS’s Risk Assessment 2014, which can be read in its entirety using the link below, strongly focuses on Russia and the Ukraine crisis, predicting that “over the next few years, the situation in eastern Ukraine will highly likely turn into a new frozen European conflict, and the Ukraine crisis will continue to strain relations between Russia and the West.”
“Russia will continue to give high priority to the modernization of its armed forces with the emphasis on developing forces capable of conducting offensive operations along Russia’s periphery,” the report continues.
Denmark, Sweden and Germany have all scrambled military jets in recent days to face Russian planes and Sweden spent a week searching in vain for what was believed to be a Russian submarine near Stockholm.
DDIS stressed however that it does not anticipate a looming military conflict with Russia.
“Even though Russia has increased its military activities in Denmark’s vicinity and Russian aircraft have occasionally flown offensive flight patterns in Denmark’s vicinity, there are no indications that Russia constitutes an increased direct military threat to Danish territory,” the report reads.