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Juri Derjabin

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Juri Derjabin


Dear Dr. Seppinen,

With an interest and mixed feelings I have read your comment in ProKarelia 29.01 to my article on «the Karelian question».

Some my remarks.

1. I cannot agree with your statement, that «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.»

Whether you can as the historian to confirm it by authentic documents?

As you stated, “the facts are 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.”

2. I am also surprised about your statement, that «Juri Derjabin was one of the actors in this struggle against Finland». I was mainly dealing with problems of security - and foreign policy, had no special contacts to the Finnish communists, and other political parties, and as "Kommissarov” conducted polemic ( by my own initiative) basically around of problems of the Treaty of 1948 and the neutrality policy, and the security in the North of Europe as well. On what your statement is based?

3. You write, that «there is something very personal in the attitude of Mr Derjabin. He tries to stretch the Soviet times to the today realities”. It does not correspond to my attitude. Times of the Soviet Union and its interference in Finland’s internal affairs passed - and I spoke about it and wrote not once. But could today's Russia be indifferently, when her nearest neighbour seriously is discussing the possibility to join NATO, when Finland is among leaders in the antirussian moods, when discussion of returning Karelia has been warmed up? Frankly speaking, the reaction to my statements on these and other problems has always surprised me. Whether I don’t have the right to express my opinion - not as a representative of the Kremlin, but a person, who for some decades has been engaged in relations with Finland? And where are the Finnish tolerance, respect for opinion of others? I have always been considered, that an open, but correct discussion only will strengthen mutual trust.

4. And as a conclusion, I have paid attention to your idea on that, «that as a Soviet diplomat, Juri Derjabin is actually subject of scientific historical research … 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”.

It is, certainly, flattering for me, but I doubt seriously whether my modest person and the real role in relations with Finland deserves it. But if such research would be realized, it should be free from biliousness, cliches, and emotions which are frequently connected to Derjabin – Komissarov, becoming, unfortunately, a symbol for all the unfair, that the Soviet Union has made Finland.

Also it would be quite good, if thus the opinion of the subject of research would be taken into account too. I probably would be ready to make some contribution to it - in form of personal or written interviews. In fact, documents and archives cannot replace witnesses of those times, who are still alive (and them remained very few). I thank you for wishes of good health and hope to see such research.

I should with interest read you latest book on Kekkonen, even more so, that there you are referring to me. Could you send me a copy of the book?

Best regards
Juri Derjabin

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