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Oct 28, 2021
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Finland: “Why love such wicked Russians?”

Finland:

Photo: Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS

The Finns have fallen out of love with us again. Since the Winter War 1939/40. they were not so negatively disposed towards our country as they are now. This is evidenced by the results of a poll conducted by the Finnish Business Thinking Center (EVA).

According to the results of the survey, in recent years the number of those who have a sharply negative attitude towards Russia has noticeably increased – 45% of respondents. In 2012, there were no more than 30% of them. Then, nine years ago, positive attitudes prevailed among the citizens of the Country of a Thousand Lakes (63% of respondents). Now the negative comes mainly from representatives of the generation of 18-30-year-olds. Of these, 60% clearly associate Russia with a military threat.

The older generation is definitely warmer towards Russia. Also, the views of the respondents to the modern Russian Federation are influenced, as analysts of EVA assure, the level of their education. As it rises, the positive attitude decreases and reaches a minimum among academics (21%).

It turns out that the more literate a Finnish citizen is, the less he understands what is happening in his closest eastern neighbors, and that is why he burns with hostility towards us, is that so? Interesting, however, logic …

By the way, this sociological study was carried out back in the spring. Adjusted early October. It was made public last Monday, when NATO representatives arrived in Finland on an official visit. Is it a coincidence?

This visit to what is believed to be neutral Suomi was the first in the history of the existence of the North Atlantic bloc. What the alliance secretary general noted more than once in his almost hour-long speech Jens Stoltenberg, the main theme of whose passionate monologue was “Russia, aggressive towards its neighbors.”

His fiery speech was broadcast on all Finnish TV channels. A day later, quotes from it filled the pages of most Finnish newspapers. So the “EVA” poll turned out to be very useful for demonstrating to dear guests, on the one hand, the growing rejection of Russia by the Finns, on the other, their loyalty to NATO. Stoltenberg appreciated the efforts of Russophobes, noting in his closing remarks that “the doors of the alliance are open for Helsinki.”

By the way, numerous polls of Finnish citizens in recent years about their attitude to joining the North Atlantic bloc have invariably recorded their negative reaction to this (over 60% of respondents). “Movements”, at first insignificant, then all bOthe most, began after 2014, which is considered overseas and in the EU “the year of the annexation of Crimea Putin“. And now not 5-10% of NATO supporters in Finland, mostly young people who studied in the United States. And 26%. And these are not only former pro-American students, but people of different ages, education, professions. Compared to last year – plus 4%.

“The reason for this may be the end of the presidency Donald Trump and taking office Joe Biden at the beginning of 2021. Finns’ views on Trump’s influence on international security and the position of the United States were very bleak a year ago, and this also affected their attitude towards NATO, writes in a press release. Sami Metelinen, head of PR service at EVA.

– Trump has nothing to do with it, of course. Like Biden, – said “SP” Daria Smirnova-Ruhanen, a Finnish citizen with Russian roots, who moved from St. Petersburg to Helsinki many years ago, an activist of the Russian-Finnish Friendship Society. – The point is that intrusive propaganda, which is carried out in our country by Western special services with the help of their media, headed by the BBC. It is from them that we learn that your President Putin is “a despot with imperial manners.” That Russia is about to attack our little state.

“SP”: – And everyone in Suomi believes this?

– Not all. But there are those offended because of that war, so that Finland was declared the year of the USSR in 1939. They lend themselves easily to propaganda. Perhaps because they are very afraid of Putin’s army, which, as they say, “will come and take revenge on them.” And many people feel sorry for the Russian people. They believe that people are not to blame, that they have “such a belligerent power” … Our anti-Russian propaganda is now very powerful. Just this week, several articles were published in the press discussing what to do if the Russians attacked Finland. And will NATO help them then?

“SP”: – And the voice of Russia itself reaches the residents of Suomi? They explain to them that we are peaceful people, although we keep our armored train on a siding – it is well known that God takes care of it!

– There is practically no counter-propaganda. But there are communities and whole groups in social networks where Finns from among people who understand what is happening, discuss the situation, explain it to others. Someone listens to them. And someone thinks that these are Putin’s trolls.

“SP”: – Are there still Russians where you live now?

– Not so long ago, my family and I moved from the capital to the small town of Kuopio. There are not many Russians here, but there are. We have full contact with the locals. They see that we are working, we do not sit on the “social network”. Compared with migrants from other countries who live on benefits and do not blow up, eating up taxpayers’ money, which is very annoying for the Finns.

Opinion from Vitalia Milonova, deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation. For many years in a row, he regularly visits Suomi on various important joint business with his Finnish colleagues.

– At the end of next week I am going to Helsinki to participate in the Russian-Finnish cultural forum, which involves meetings with local parliamentarians, ministers, – Vitaly Valentinovich answered the call of “SP”. – I am intimately familiar with many. Normal sane people, have a constructive attitude towards Russia, are always open to dialogue and cooperation. And the Russophobic sentiments of some of their citizens are considered a temporary cloudiness, the result of the aggressive rhetoric of the West.

“SP”: – Our propaganda has what to answer?

– You know what the matter is … The States and Brussels are putting a lot of pressure on the Finnish authorities. Using for this, including the local media. Those often publish such nonsense that you don’t even know whether to laugh or cry. And almost all of our media in the EU are blocked. But the Russian Embassy in Finland conducts, as far as possible, explanatory work among the local population.

“SP”: – You are somehow very uncertain about this, Vitaly Valentinovich. I immediately remembered Ukraine in the early 2000s, when Russophobia and militant nationalism arose and matured there. The ambassador at that time was Viktor Chernomyrdin, a man worthy in all respects, but a diplomat, as life has shown, alas …

– There were problems even before him … With Finland, I’m sure this will not happen. Together with my colleagues – deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, with employees of the embassy, ​​we are making a lot of efforts to correctly cover and interpret events in Russia. I think it is necessary to follow the path of clarification, not exacerbation. We have a complicated history with this country. We must remember about it, and go forward – towards good-neighborliness. As it was in the post-war years, when the Finnish economic miracle happened largely thanks to the USSR. In Helsinki, I dare to assure you, they have not forgotten about it.

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