The March of the Russian state machinery?

May 9 in Helsinki are about to carry out the action “Immortal regiment”. In recent years this action from its Eastern neighbor has become a very popular way to remember the victims of the Second world war and the victory over Nazi Germany. We are talking about gripped the people of the tradition to celebrate their country’s past. For participation in this event participants are not required to pay the money. People of all ages with sincere enthusiasm out on the streets for a long time.

This March is going to bring to Finland and to organize it in Helsinki. Organizer of the “new Russian organization RUFI”. It seems that the action is of great magnitude and becomes international. These marches are going to and already carried out in Latvia, Norway and all the way to Africa.

In the message RUFI says that this brand new organization wants the meeting intended for the local Russian-speaking population, to attract people, “for half an hour for an important cause.” Apparently, the marchers will hand out the ribbons.

Likely, this March is designed to provide artificial respiration to the above organization, because its place is still not very clear Finnish Russian.

On Facebook it has positioned itself as follows: the Union “is intended for both Finnish and living in Finland Russians, the founders of the organization are representatives of both nationalities. The organization’s goal is to build bridges between Finland and Russia, not incitement to aggression or create a provocation, as suggested by some commentators”.


What’s good in Russia, it’s not wise to do abroad.

Organization RUFI is very small and is in the very beginning of his career. It is quite another matter if the venue of an action brought by the Russian media, advocates and speakers to announce “the oppression of compatriots”.

Many Finnish Russian is not without reason to ask why this March is organized in a country which fought against the Soviet Union, but which now has good relations with Russia? Why want to disturb the peaceful relations?

Perhaps we are talking about the so-called local impulse and a desperate attempt of activists. Maybe they want to direct the activity of local Russian political mainstream? The organization itself is not convincing: there are completely different forces, sponsors and helpers: the organization Mosaiikki RAY oy and oy, and the city of jyväskylä. As for financing, we can say that the organization is in cramped conditions. For example, to date, RUFI received assistance from the Ministry of education and culture.

Minor support for Finnish and Russian big support of Russia

The organizers of the March have not received unconditional support from the Russian population in Finland.

According to many Finnish people do not like the event, and perhaps it would be better, for example, to raise money for the event, suitable for both sides and not to provoke the Finns.

Some loyal supporters of the event do not care about these opinions, they only focus on the fact that in Finland there is freedom of Assembly, and therefore, such a peaceful March, you can not deny. However, it seems that the project is not very advanced. The majority of the Russian population in our country is not very encouraged by this idea; as one of the commentators on social media: “this country has given me so much.”

In Finland there is freedom of Assembly. Such a demonstration can be arranged in the case, if it is not forbidden. We can only guess whether they want the local Russian population to intervene in an adventure that smacks of Russian hybrid operation.

Where the legs grow

Behind all this, obviously, there are forces far more authoritative and weighty RUFI: parent organization cultural center “Rossotrudnichestvo” supports and organizes these marches around the world. The event is also associated with the organization of compatriots OARS and “salvation” of the Russian military cemetery in Helsinki.

The organization of the whole event can be traced back to the Russian government.

It is the task of the tiny organization RUFI is very complex: it is not easy to act according to orders from the top.

But there is also common sense and reason: everyone who lived in Russia Russian got vaccinated against propaganda. Living in Finland Russian is a very wise and much-traveled people: each of them understands where the legs grow.

Maybe what will happen is that on the streets of Helsinki on may 9 will be held from the St. George ribbon only a few truly loyal Russian people. On the other hand, they want them printed in the papers — this now needs Moscow. And they’ll get it.

What are pompous marches?

It seems that in Finland, for some reason, want to create a kind of Finnish Bronze soldier. The argument of the whole event seems far-fetched. This country is not suitable bravado, it is regarded here as more serious than perhaps we would like. The most important question: why kindle such a confrontation? Or are you talking about the fight for the sake of argument?

An observer will think about the fact that the details of this event, probably, have not considered those who really know Finland. In the course of the Russian foreign Ministry about this adventure and spiritual guerrilla warfare? How does a March of several desperate people are to improve relations between our countries? Finland is a really nice neighbor, but Moscow is more “does not believe in tears”? Or Russia’s foreign policy is not only in the foreign Ministry?

If the March scheduled the same solemn, as, for example, March of the Protestants in Northern Ireland on the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne, it means a political adventure, to participate in which they want to attract more crowd. This is a model example of the pompous March, and a silly confrontation. Protestants are held annually March, because the king, the Protestant William III of orange defeated the army of the monarch, the Catholic James II in 1690. According to the Catholic inhabitants of the Republic, the holding of this March is a joke. The worst is that the March passes through the Catholic area of Belfast Again. For the Protestants, in turn, is a way to “remember the fallen”.

Why I don’t understand this bravado?

Imagine if I walked through the streets of Vyborg with the March against the crimes of the Winter war? My March would last no more than a minute. And it would be no meaning. Stereotypes and past events it is easy to ignite but difficult to extinguish.

After such marches be harder for me to tell his disciples about the importance of the Russian language, culture and history. The ratio change. It will affect the stereotypes of the Finns. It will be easier to believe that Russia is the aggressive imperialist state which wants to compensate for their internal difficulties through external disturbances.

What if during the March, force would be used or there are riots? What will scream Russian media, who arrived on the scene? Then it becomes clear that we are talking about some dark provocation, the so-called provocation under a false flag.

Fortunately, the Russian minority in Finland are reasonable people.

They want to live in this society according to its laws, customs and habits. Like us, the Finns.

PS: pay attention that in Belarus the use of the so-called St. George ribbons is forbidden to all except pensioners. Marches are used Belarusian symbols.

Associate Professor Arto Luukkanen (Arto Luukkanen) is a specialist on Russia and Eastern Europe in Renvall-Institute at the University of Helsinki, a supporter of the party “True Finns” (Perussuomalaiset).