In ‘The New Wall’ series, European correspondent Saskia Deckers travels to fast-changing Europe. Her first statement Kirkenes is an Arctic city in Norway, Which is on the border with Russia. In Part 2 he travels to the Norwegian fishing island of Wardo.
Suddenly they play a key role in the war in Ukraine: three vast white spheres on the Norwegian island of Wardo. They are US-operated radar stations and target Russia.
If you look at Wardo across the Barents Sea, you can’t ignore it. On a rocky plateau, in front of wooden houses, there are enlarged mushrooms. “I do not know how they are inside, but I know we are spying on Russia,” said one resident.
Wardo is located in the far corner of Norway, about 400 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. A winding road presses through an icy and ruined terrain. We see abandoned fisherman’s houses, sometimes a point in the distance Russia, and flocks of reindeer crossing in their spare time.
We make our way to the island via a long tunnel. Snow blows. Three white towers above all. Fresh, Globus3, Americans have been building for years. It will come into use in a few more months.
Radar stations are the most advanced in the world. Officially they come under the Norwegian authorities. But the role of Americans is far greater than the Norwegian government is willing to admit.
Local journalist Bård Wormdal spent many years researching and writing the book in the United States and Canada ‘Satellite war’He explains that these stations are run by the US intelligence services and may be missile defenses for the United States.
“These U.S. radar installations on Russia’s border are now extremely important to the Western Alliance.
The fishing island of Wardo was not chosen by chance. About sixty kilometers away is Russia’s Kola Peninsula, Russia’s most important military-strategic area. This is where the Murmansk submarine port and the world’s largest nuclear arsenal are located. From Kola, Russia could launch a nuclear attack.
Not surprisingly, the Russians reacted harshly to radar installations in Wardo. “Russian bombers carried out at least two simulation attacks on radar installations in Wardo in 2017 and 2018,” said investigative journalist Wormdall. “The Russians wanted to make it clear that they were not happy with the radar stations.”
The islanders were shocked by Russia’s move. “When we heard that Russia was simulating an air strike on Vardo, people were worried,” said Ine Desire. She studies modern history in Oslo, but her roots are on the island. “Is the government protecting us? Or are we insecure victims?”
Green Party Mayor rjan Jensen considers radar stations a necessary evil. “Norway and NATO are watching Russia. Russia is watching us.” He thinks installations increase security. “This is a defensive measure, defensive, not offensive. And defensive measures are good for any country.”
Islanders do not like to talk about radar stations on the island. They like not to remember it. John, 38, just wants to show us his vision by wearing sweat pants. “Come to the inner courtyard in my backyard.” He did not give his last name for fear of possible repercussions for his work for the government.
From the snow terrace, three gigantic white spheres fill his entire view. He has put up a high fence around the garden chairs. “So we can never see them.”
It doesn’t go away from his anxiety. He thinks 2,000 islanders are being used as human shields. “These installations are very close to the village because they are a very difficult target.” But he wonders: “If the Russians start bombing, how many human lives are they willing to sacrifice?”
Mayor Jensen understood the questions. “Radar antennas, schools and homes very close to the village are worrying people. When the war broke out in Ukraine, people started to worry even more. It makes sense. We try to reassure them, I think we can.”
“These radar stations are very important to Americans because of the fear of nuclear war.” Investigative journalist Wormdal explains why these radar stations are so important now. “If a nuclear war breaks out, these stations provide an opportunity to target the United States and stop the attack.”
The mayor is ready for an emergency, he says. “We work daily on emergency plans so we’re ready for anything to happen.” He suspects Verto may have been targeted. “If the Russians want to issue a statement, they can think quickly about us.”
Student Desire Fear does not want to let her rule her life. “We should not think too much about it because life goes on and we continue to live.”