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The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum strives to promote cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech.



Putinism’s Authoritarian Allure


A surprising phenomenon is increasingly apparent in Western Europe: Far-right parties are moving away from their traditional anti-communist and anti-Russia ideologies, with many expressing admiration – and even outright support – for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.



Russia’s Anti-Colonial Struggle


“[Russian president Vladimir] Putin’s regime should be regarded as a colonial power,” wrote Alfred Koch, Russia’s former deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, on his Facebook page. “All the signs of a colonial regime were there for anyone to see,” he noted.


“I Love Russia, But I Hate Putin”


In an interview with Spiegel, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, member of the Russian feminist punk collective, Pussy Riot, discussed the group’s political aims, why she believed there were limits to Vladimir Putin’s power, and how the “fight for our ideas and values” would continue. She said it was “not me, but the authorities who must be afraid.”


One-Man Demonstration Against Putin


Yuri Belov, a Russian activist living in Finland, held a one-man demonstration against Vladimir Putin outside the Russian consulate in Turku on 13 June 2012. His initial plan was to demonstrate on 12 June 2012, coinciding with mass protests in cities across Russia, but the consulate was closed to mark Russia’s national day.

“I have had an opportunity to talk with a number of bypassers, and they all agreed that Putin needs to go. It is time to realise that Russia is no worse than any other country; we deserve free and fair elections, too,” Mr Belov said. He volunteers for the opposition website, putinavotstavku.org, which calls for Putin’s resignation.


Manifesto of Free Russia


Russia’s united opposition movement has signed a “Manifesto of Free Russia,” which was first published in the blog of Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS). The manifesto outlines steps to free Russia of Vladimir Putin and his regime, and what to do after he is gone. The manifesto was read at the Russia Day demonstration in Moscow on 12 June 2012. Below, Jenya Belyaeva’s English translation of the manifesto:

Russia Making a Mockery of Human Rights


The Russian Foreign Ministry has published a report on the human rights situation in various countries. The starting point of the report is one of double standards: The report only focuses on human rights in countries, with which Russia is looking for discord.

The report devotes several pages to Finland. It seems that Moscow regards Finland as a similar target for pressure and part of its “near abroad” as the Baltic States. The report directs accusations against Finland using the same sort of demagoguery as against the Baltic States.


“Putin’s Voodoo Is Gone”

Russian music critic and journalist Artemy Troitsky gave an interview to the Finnish publishing house, Into Kustannus, which publishes the Finnish edition of Novaya Gazeta. Speaking on the eve of renewed pro-democracy demonstrations planned for 24 December 2011, Mr Troitsky spoke about the change in the Russian people’s protest mentality, the dismal state of the country’s political party system, and the impending collapse of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Below, an edited transcript of Mr Troitsky’s comments.