Monday, January 10, 2022

Younger and More Educated Finns Far More Anti-Russian than Older and Less Well Educated, New EVA Poll Shows

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 21 – Finns who live with Russians in the eastern part of the country generally have a positive view of Russians as people, but they like Finns elsewhere have an increasingly negative view of Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a state, with younger and more educated Finns more negative than older and less well-educated ones, an EVA poll finds.

            Negative attitudes toward Moscow have increased over the last 20 years, as the Putin regime has become more authoritarian and aggressive and as the share of younger and more educated Finns has increased relative to that of the older and less well-educated, Olga Davydova-Minge of the University of Eastern Finland says (

            Moscow commentators explain this pattern by suggesting that it reflects “anti-Russian propaganda” in the Finnish media, but the specialist says that is not the case. On the one hand, it is a hangover among older Finns of the policies of compulsory friendship with the USSR. And on the other, honest reporting of Russian aggressiveness is not propaganda.

            In Soviet times, “Finlandization” encouraged Finns to have a positive view of the USSR. That has carried over into the present for older groups of the population, Davydova-Minge says. “Younger generations have an image of Russia from the post-Soviet period … when Russia overturned democracy and undermined rights and adopted a more aggressive foreign policy.

            “The very highest percentage of support for Russia is among pensioners and among the unemployed and also among workers and petty entrepreneurs. The very lowest is among students, among high-ranking officials and those in leading positions,” Davydova-Minge continues.

            This correlates with variations on the basis of education, she adds. “The more people are interested in politics and economics and follow the news, then unfortunately, the more negativel do they assess the current situation” with regard to Russia.

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