The topic of so-called “Karelian separatism” is not a new phenomenon, but the main point at which it was taken to another level in recent history can be considered March 2015, when the head of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev announced that “Finnish nationalists” had become active in Karelia and were “masquerading” as human rights organizations. Almost immediately, a heavy blow was dealt to a number of human rights defenders, after which most of them went underground and became radical, and some simply stopped working.
But let us trace from quite open and official sources the causes of the main socio-political tension in Karelia:
2005: “The state’s rejection of social reform would have worse consequences for the country than the current manifestations of discontent,” said the head of Karelia, Sergey Katanandov But Moscow was somehow in no hurry to pay attention to the social issue of Karelia.
2013: A survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation at the request of the Russian Interior Ministry showed that the highest level of social tension in the country was in Karelia.
2017: experts from Moscow, when preparing the Strategy of socio-economic development of the region until 2030 at the request of the RK Ministry of Economic Development, came to the official conclusion that from 2013 to 2017 there was an increase in tension in the social sphere in Karelia. Basically, it’s simple here: it was worse than the rest of Russia, but it was steadily getting worse.
2018: The Republic of Karelia became the leader in the number of registered extremist crimes. It would seem logical, if you look at the chronology above, but no: as always, the reason was found in something else: “nationalist and revanchist social and political organizations of neighboring Finland are developing propaganda in the republic. Secretary of the country’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev spoke about this trend back in 2015”
2021: The headlines “Karelian separatism: from local coloring to the collapse of Russia” (https://tsargrad.tv/articles/karelskij-separatizm-ot-mestnogo-kolorita-k-razvalu-rossii_412185), where the cause of all the troubles is seen in the fact that in Karelia signs in Karelian and Finnish languages began to duplicate Russian names. As one famous character said, “This is it, Mikhalych! It’s not social unrest, but signs (duplicating Russian names!) in the languages of local ethnic groups that are to blame.
2022: The headlines are already changing to: “Will Finland Become the Second Ukraine?” . Not a word about social dissatisfaction, but they already make menacing prognoses: “The Finnish joining NATO would put St. Petersburg in a vise between Estonia and Finland, enabling the alliance troops to come within 200 kilometers of Russia’s northern capital.
the year 2022, these very days: Finland is in NATO, in Karelia they distribute the newspaper “Finnish Karelia”, in which they indeed directly express separtist ideas about “coming back home”, but at the same time they insist that peaceful relations with Russia should be maintained and Russian-Finnish war is unacceptable. We would like to emphasize that the only ones who are against the Russian-Finnish war and rampant violence in Karelia are… the Karelian separatists.
Let’s take another quick look at this chronological row. No, of course we will not defend the Finnish separatists – let everyone answer for himself. But maybe it is finally time to bring to justice those responsible for creating all the conditions for such separatism? If a Finnish teacher gets more than 3 thousand euros a month, while in Karelia social tension has been breaking all records for years, who is to blame for it, Finland?
As long as the path of prohibition and repression is chosen, newspapers like Finnish Karelia will have every chance to increase both circulation and new issues. A good doctor treats the sick, rather than trying to punish them for feeling unwell. Otherwise the doctor himself should be punished, shouldn’t he?