Posts Tagged: Soviet Union

Challenging Finland’s racism problem:Raise your voice, trust yourself, and don’t succumb to fear and self-censorship

When I moved to Finland over forty years ago, there were only about 10,000 foreigners living in the country. The biggest national group were the Swedes, who were mostly Finns who had become naturalized citizens of that country. One of the questions we asked back then was about the level of racism in Finland. 

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Päävo Väyrynen is Finland’s cold war foreign minister

If there is one politician in Finland that gives some heartburn, that politician is without a doubt Paavo Väyrynen. It is unfortunate that the Finnish media doesn’t return to the cold war era and look into Väyrynen’s record when he was the foreign minister most of the time from 1977 to 1993. During that period there were

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Ilari Kaila & Tuomas Kaila: Finland, we hardly knew

The Finnish welfare state is being eroded, and the far right has gained momentum. As the country turns one hundred, what’s happened to Finland?

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Finlandization was very bad for refugees, especially Soviet asylum seekers

A story in Thursday’s Helsingin Sanomat shows that the shadow of Finlandization continues to hang deep on Finland even if the demise of the former Soviet Union ocurred in 1991. Even if the Helsingin Sanomat story writes about Finland’s first-ever airplane hijacking case in 1977 involving two Soviet citizens on an Aeroflot flight, it sheds an

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Edward Snowden would help to put to rest Finland’s Cold War legacy

Wikileaks said in a statement that whistleblower Edward Snowden had asked for political asylum in twenty-one countries, one of which included Finland. Understanding Finland’s history and its historic suspicion of foreigners, granting a high-profile asylum seeker like Snowden asylum in Finland would not only help to put to rest for good our poor record but have

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Max Jakobson dies but his legacy and the cold war linger on

This blog entry is dedicated to the late Donald Fields, Helsinki correspondent of the BBC, The Guardian and Politiken to 1988.   I read with mixed thoughts about the death of Max Jakobson (1923-2013),  a diplomat who shaped Finland’s policy of neutrality during the cold war. While I am certain that he was an able

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Finland’s cold war era: media censorship and suspicion of the outside world

How much did censorship and self-censorship affect Finland during the cold war? The answer to that question lies in the dusty archives of Finland’s media. What kinds of editorials did Helsingin Sanomat write about the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and what did our major dailies say about what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1968? What kind of press freedom was there in a country were discussing, never mind questioning, the official foreign policy line was forbidden?

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Cold war winds still chill Finland's ongoing debate on racism and social exclusion

The anger and surprise that Gerry Brownlee has stirred up in this country sheds light why debating an issue like discriminaiton is so diffeicult to accept by some Finns. The New Zealand minister sharply criticised Finland last week in an address in parliament. Is our anger due to our low self-esteem or to the cold war, when censorship and self-censorship were pretty much the rule?

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