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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.



Finnish Lawyer Arrested in Moscow

Kari Silvennoinen

The Finnish lawyer, Kari Silvennoinen, was arrested on his arrival at Moscow airport on 27 September 2013. The Russian authorities gave no reason for his arrest. Mr Silvennoinen has been held without food and drink over night.



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.


Black Ribbon Day

23 August marks the International Black Ribbon Day. In 2008, the European Parliament designated the day as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which contained a secret protocol that divided Europe into two spheres of influence. The treaty opened the way for wars of conquest by these two totalitarian regimes, the consequences of which are still evident throughout Europe. The Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee wishes to remind of the day’s importance for peace and democracy in Europe.

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Georgia’s North Caucasus Strategy


The Georgian Parliament has approved a “State Strategy on Relations with the Peoples of North Caucasus,” Civil.Ge reported. The document outlines priority areas through which Tbilisi intends to improve its ties with the region, ranging from trade and economy to people-to-people contacts, education, healthcare, and human rights. Lawmakers said the strategy was designed to solidify Tbilisi’s “soft power” approach in the region. Earlier, in his speech at the UN General Assembly in 2010, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had called for a “united Caucasus.” The new strategy paper stated that Georgia was ready to provide assistance to human rights activists from the North Caucasus, including by spreading information worldwide about the “real state of affairs” in the region in respect of human rights.


Edvins Snore: Legacy of Soviet Communism


Latvian political scientist and researcher Edvins Snore (Edvīns Šnore), director of the documentary film, The Soviet Story, gave a talk on the phenomenon of Soviet Communism at an event organised by the Finnish organisation, Pro Karelia, in Helsinki on 6 June 2011. Below, the full text of Mr Snore’s talk:

I want to thank the organisers of this event for inviting me to take part. I am delighted to be here in Finland and to speak about a subject, which is important to the Baltic people, which is known in Finland also, but which is less known in the rest of Western Europe. That subject is Soviet Communism and its legacy today.


Burying Lenin


“Russians should not bury Lenin until they uncover his lies,” writes Walter Rodgers, former senior international correspondent for CNN, in Christian Science Monitor. Russians must face up to Lenin’s brutal legacy – as Germans did Hitler’s, he says. “Burying Lenin would be terribly dishonest. It would risk erasing the brutally violent communist legacy he spawned. His strain of socialism bankrupted Russia morally and economically, leaving it in many respects a third-world country – even today,” Rodgers opines. “When new nationalist saviors like current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appear on stage, flaunting the same arrogance Lenin practiced with his messianic vision, Russians ought to be able to look at Lenin’s tomb for a chilling reminder that rigid, intolerant ideologies are usually flawed and destructive beyond imagining,” Rodgers writes.


Люди на площадях: 1988-2009