As Sweden ponders joining NATO, a remote holiday destination in the Baltic Sea is once again bolstering its defences.
Known as a paradise isle of unspoiled wilderness and sandy beaches, Gotland has long been a popular vacation spot for many Swedes.
Complete with Viking-age settlements and iconic rock formations, the 170-kilometre outcrop attracts over two million visitors every year to enjoy the peace and simplicity of island life.
But just over three decades ago, the holiday hotspot served a far different purpose.
Strategically located just 300 kilometres from the home of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, it acted as a key deterrent against Soviet expansion.
And as tensions surrounding Sweden’s proposed application to NATO grow, the
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