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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.



Face of Russian Civic Activism

Yevgenia Chirikova

The Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki will host a discussion with the Russian environmental and opposition activist, Yevgenia Chirikova, on Tuesday, 28 May 2013, at 3pm.



FINROSFORUM 2011 | Speaker Profiles


The fifth annual conference of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) begins on 10 December 2011 at the Sofia Cultural Centre in Helsinki’s Vuosaari district. Guest speakers include a number of grassroots civic activists and experts from Russia, Finland, and elsewhere. Below, short introductions of the speakers.


FINROSFORUM Appealed in Defence of Khimki Forest


FINROSFORUM board members Mikael Storsjö (left), Kerkko Paananen, and Ville Ropponen.
(Photo: Jouko Kämäräinen.)

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) conveyed an appeal in support of the campaign to defend Khimki Forest, near Moscow, to the French Embassy in Helsinki on 1 March 2011. At the same time, the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest (EcoOborona) delivered its appeal to the office of the French construction group, Vinci, in Moscow. Below, the text of FINROSFORUM’s appeal to the French Ambassador in Finland:


Russian Forest Coalition Appeals to EU


A coalition of Russian environmental organisations has appealed to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, to halt the participation of European financial institutions, including the EBRD and EIB, in motorway projects in Russia.

The coalition in defence of the forests of Moscow region called on the EU to withdraw its support for the projects until the rights of local residents were taken into account. The forest coalition includes WWF Russia, Greenpeace Russia, the Biodiversity Conservation Center, the Russian Birds Conservation Union, the Social-Ecological Union, and the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest.

The coalition pointed out that almost all major motorway projects currently under construction or planned in the near future in Russia have been “carried out without taking into account the principles of sustainable development, conservation of biodiversity, or public opinion.” The coalition noted the continued violations of human rights that environmental campaigners have been subjected to in connection with the motorway projects.


Khimki forest campaigner assaulted


Another defender of the Khimki forest near Moscow, Konstantin Fetisov, was assaulted by unknown assailants with baseball bats outside his home on 4 November 2010. He was returning from the police station, where he was held for having taken part in a demonstration. Mr Fetisov, leader of the local chapter of the pro-business political party, Pravoe Delo, suffered a fractured skull and was taken to emergency care in the Khimki hospital. He is to be transferred to a hospital in Moscow.

Two years ago almost to the day, Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-in chief of the local opposition newspaper, Khimkinskaya Pravda, was savagely beaten and left to bleed in the snow outside his home. His fingers were bashed, and three later had to be amputated. He lost a leg. Mr Beketov sustained a head injury, multiple broken bones, and other injuries that doctors said could easily have been fatal. Mr Beketov is now in a wheelchair, his brain so damaged that he cannot utter a simple sentence.


Moscow Turning Into a Mount of Garbage

Gammal pappersfabrik nytt hot mot Bajkal


Bajkalsjön hotas av en nygammal pappersmassafabrik. Miljöboven från 1960-talet kan öppnas igen och de ryska myndigheterna tystar protesterna.

Miljöorganisationen Baikal Environmental Wave har kämpat i många år för att få fabriken stängd och kämpar fortfarande för att den inte ska startas igen. Men tyvärr kämpar de mot ett beslut av Vladimir Putin, som har sagt att fabriken kan startas igen.

Istället för att fundera på om massafabriken kanske är i smutsigaste laget, får FSB (fd KGB) göra en razzia hos miljögruppen och ta deras datorer och annat “bevismaterial” för att de kan ha använt piratkopierad programvara, vilket naturligtvis gör pappersfabriken mycket renare.