A couple of blogs have been commenting on a minor diplomatic intrigue playing out between the Soviets Russians and the Finns.
The New York Times ran a story last week that quoted a spokesman for the Defense Staff of Finland, who claimed photos taken during the recent Georgian conflict seemed to show special forces of the Russian Interior Ministry wearing a dead ringer for Finland’s new, state of the art, ‘digital’ M/05 camouflage pattern. The Russians flatly denied it (in fact they went further, and heaped scorn and derision on the notion that they might need to copy anyone elses camo, having “hundreds” of their own patterns). However, camouflage experts have seen several examples over the years of Russian copycat camouflage designs. Designs that look just like those worn by British, American or German soldiers, and which, according to some, were developed for use by Spetznaz (special forces) commandos during the Cold War, to allow them to operate behind enemy lines.
Finland’s M/05 design has EU protection and that fact, plus the country’s 1340 kilometre border with Russia, makes it understandably upset about the possibility that it’s neighbour might turn up to a party wearing the same outfit.