In the weeks leading up to February 24th, 2014, Russia conducted large-scale military exercises on the border with Ukraine.

While NATO focused on that diversion, Russian intelligence services assembled a collective designed for hybrid warfare to facilitate an invasion of Crimea: ethnic Russians in the Crimea, Serbian militias, Chechen soldiers, the Night Wolves motorcycle club, Russian private military companies, and Russian regulars.

This ragtag force was later dubbed the “Little Green Men”—perhaps a reference to their green fatigues without any markings—or as Putin interestingly called them, “Polite People.” Crimea was practically overtaken by little green men, without firing a shot.

The Kings of the North: Meet Finland’s Readiness Units
Source: Wikimedia Commons

After the conflict, the Finnish Defence Forces, which have a rather unpleasant past with Russia, decided they needed to prepare for a hybrid war.