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A comment to the article of former Ambassador. Juri Derjabin, published in the site of ProKarelia on 22nd of January 2005 and in Vasabladet on 9th of January 2005.

Jukka Seppinen
Dr of Political History

I ask the ProKarelia Association kindly to give me a little bit of place for some commentary concerning former Ambassador Juri Derjabin’s article on Finnish Karelia. I feel obliged to say a word as a historian in this matter.

First of all, as a searcher of Finnish contemporary political history, I need to say that as a Soviet diplomat, Juri Derjabin is actually subject of scientific historical research. He is available through his activities related to the Finnish political matters, in many archives in different countries. I have said in my recent study on President Kekkonen, that this man must once be studied in details. But his prophile in general is to be recognised already now, to which I have made a reference in my study.

I did keep president Kekkonen’s activities on Karelian matter in my Kekkonen-biography very low because of the reasons well known: the Soviet Union was unable to discuss on the matter with President Kekkonen in a way which should have had any correspondance with the publicly underlined good relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union.

The reason is obvious: The Soviet Union did not give up during the postwar time up to the end of Kekkonen-era of her aim to overtake Finland. Then there would have been a possibility to annexe the rest of Finland to the ceded Karelia, under communistic rule, of course. The Communist Party of the SU, waged a constant political war under auspicies of so called class-struggle against the Western Hemisphere, among others against Finland.

The detente-period, started by the end of the 1960ies, did not mean any deviation of that principle. On the contrary, the Communist Party of the SU sharpened the so called class-struggle and concentrated it on Finland.

Juri Derjabin was one of the actors in this struggle against Finland. President Kekkonen was skillfull enough to slow down the communistic efforts, of Mr. Derjabin, too, but with some losses, mainly in the pure political side. This phenomena was called “Finlandization”. It was a consequence of a extremely heavy international communistic pressure on Finland.

It is sad to say, but Derjabin and his communistic fellows succeeded in dividing somewhat this country politically, outside the local, somewhat ununited communistic circles. But the main thing remained: with a highly skillfull but delicate foreign policy concerning Finnish relations to the Western European integration and to the United States, Kekkonen succeeded in pasting up Finland to the European integration already by the Efta-association in 1961 and with a successful arrangement with the EEC in 1973. The US support was of paramount importance in many cases. And the people of Finland could live a normal western type of life, while a part of the political elite suffered of the “Finlandization”.

There is something very personal in the attitude of Mr Derjabin against Finland. He tries to stretch the Soviet times to the today realities. Finns are peaceful people. Still the rememberings of the Winter War experiences live, in both sides. Winter War was closely to turn to a disaster to the Red Army, who could take only a smaller part of the then ceded exaggerated areas, which only reflected Stalin’s aim to continue the war later on Finland. So was the case.

This is a historical approach. History is overlived; the facts are there to be found and interpreted in an respectful way to the reality and the truth of each time. The future necessarily is based on History, in a way or an other. So it is the case of ceded Karelia. I say nothing at this occasion politically, later, in an other role.

I hope a good health to Ambassador Derjabin.

Jukka Seppinen
Dr of Political History

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Kirja käsittelee Suomen, Venäjän ja EU:n välisten suhteiden kannalta keskeisiä, vielä avoimia kysymyksiä: sotaan syyllisyys, sotasyyllisyys, evakkojen omaisuuden restituutio ja pakkoluovutettujen alueitten palautus.

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Candomino laulaa karjalaisia lauluja [mp3-file].


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