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The Finnish tabloid, Iltalehti, has gone after an acting minister in a way that is reminiscent of the Danish political TV series, Borgen. The newspaper’s Friday edition ran a story on the scandal involving a repair job at the home of the Finnish Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala. The story was very confusing and a hotchpotch of wild claims and insinuations. Persons linked to the scandal were labelled everything from “right-hand man” of Russian oligarchs to supporters of Chechen separatists. On Tuesday, the tabloid falsely claimed that Ms Hautala had “arranged payments” for the renovation of her male partner’s villa. The (toilet) paper’s stories read almost exactly like the online hallucinations of the pro-Putin agent provocateur, Johan Bäckman, who has made it his life’s work to smear Heidi Hautala.
The Finnish-Russian media conference, “Broken Mirrors,” will open on 3 December 2012 in the main building of the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki. The conference is being organised in cooperation with the Parliament’s Russia Friendship Group.
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum wishes to extend its warm welcome to all participants at the conference and a special thanks to the event’s sponsors. For those not able to attend the event, we will be tweeting and facebooking the conference.
The Finnish-Russian media conference, “Broken Mirrors,” will be held in the Auditorium of the Finnish Parliament on 3-4 December 2012. The conference will discuss two main themes: Russia’s and Finland’s image in the media, and the question of visa-free travel between the EU and Russia. The organisers note that such a meeting of Finnish and Russian journalists has not been held since the middle of the 1990s.
The conference will be organised by the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM), the Finland-Russia Society, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, the Union of Journalists in Finland, the Finnish online newspaper Uusi Suomi, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and the Russian Union of Journalists, the Union of Journalists in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast, and the Russian news agency, ITAR-TASS.
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) and the Finnish publishing house, Into Kustannus, will hold a discussion on the rise of anti-Western rhetoric in today’s Russia on Friday, 26 October 2012 at 5-7pm at the Helsinki International Press Club (adjacent to the Pullman Bar on the second floor of the Helsinki Central Railway Station). Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent of The Guardian, will talk about his book, Mafia State, which has just been published in Finnish by Into Kustannus.
A Finnish professor who voiced solidarity with the Pussy Riot punk band became a target of wild allegations in Russian media. Why did Russian media report that the professor had taken a jerry can full of urine to Helsinki’s main Orthodox cathedral? What did the professor think about the whole affair? Heidi Laaksonen interviewed Teivo Teivainen, Professor of World Politics at Helsinki University, on YLE’s Puheen Päivä programme on 24 August 2012. Below, edited and translated excerpts from the interview:
Several journalism students were detained for posing awkward questions to Russia’s placeholder president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Moscow University. Opposition-minded students were not allowed to attend lessons during Medvedev’s visit. Kremlin’s youth affairs commissar, Vasily Yakemenko, arrived in Medvedev’s entourage, flanked by members of his Nashi movement.