With war raging in Ukraine since February 2022, the latest decision by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government to shut all the border crossings except for one is an example of how both countries are playing hardball with asylum seekers and the Finland’s largest national group, the Russians.
Katja Marova is a human rights activist and a member of the Left Alliance of Lappeenranta, a border city located next to the Russian border.
“Those who suffer most because of these measures are people of Russian descent [in Finland] who have family in Russia,” she said, adding that on Sunday there were up to 300 people in Lappeenranta who attended a demonstration against the closing of the border.
“I have received tens of hostile messages telling me to pack my bags and go back to Russia,” she continued. “If there was hostility against the Russian community before, it has grown since the war started.”
“The photo shows Ekaterina Marova, a human rights activist living in Lappeenranta.
The photo was taken at a demonstration she and a few others organized last week to criticize the government’s decision to close the border.
So while this issue is grossly overblown, it is also wrong. It is wrong not to allow asylum seekers into Finland (illegal) It is wrong not to allow Russians, let alone dual citizens, to visit Russia. There was no need to combine these things, but they [the government] wanted to do so anyway. There is not even any justification for the latter. Or maybe there is, racism and hatred. Very fine traditional Finnish values. Fear, shame and insecurity can be taken from the same frame of reference, and it is from these elements that the current Finnish government, with all its parties, can be built. The fact that [Prime Minister Petteri] Orpo the coward is what he is is not surprising, but the fact that not even the Left Alliance is saying anything about it is surprising.
The worst thing is not the evil of bad people, but the silence of good people, as MLK once said. So I just wonder if it is really the case that we tolerant people have to hate at least something deep down inside? So let it be this minority of 90,000 [Russian] people in Finland that no one wants to defend, even lightly mention anywhere. Ordinary people downgraded human dignity, on both sides of the border.” Finland #Russia #border #leftwing #fFinnishgovernment
“It is surprising that we allow some 60,000 Ukrainians to freely move to Finland, but when a few hundred [from countries like Syria, Yemen, Somalia and other ones] attempt to get asylum we immediately shut the border.”
Marova said that one matter that has given strength to the Russian community in Finland is that they dare to speak and express their views more freely than before.