Karjala / Karelia kuuluu Suomelle - Pro Karelian fokus.
Karelia / Karjala is part of Finland - Pro Karelia's focus.

Tietoa kirjoittajasta

Heikki A Reenpää
professori, spokesperson

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Heikki A Reenpää


Finland was forced to pay a nearly insurmountable price for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement by which the spheres of interest of Soviet Union and Germany were divided between these two countries. War created about 420,000 refugees, which is roughly about 12 % of the population of Finland at that time.

The former Soviet Union began a systematic destruction of the territory, which it had acquired as a result of forced cession. A larger part of the area was determined as a hermetically closed security zone on the Finnish-Soviet border, and construction of private residences, factories or sovkhozes (government collectives) was strictly forbidden in this area.

Old Finnish buildings were demolished and villas were destroyed in order to wipe off all memories of the Finnish period. The Soviet regime wanted to portray this territory, and especially, Vyborg (the formerly Finnish city of Viipuri), as an ancient Russian cultural district. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the support systems for the Karelia district ceased functioning.

More and more often, visitors who return from Karelia, are deeply shocked by what they have witnessed. The amount of ruins and collapsed houses in Karelia may exceed that of Kabul, Afghanistan. Not all ruins in Karelia are the result of war; some were also born from human despair.

The collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 gave hope to Karelia. Positive development did not, however, continue.

When the rouble crashed in 1998, the situation in Karelia started to resemble a humanitarian catastrophe. More and more buildings have become objects of vandalism. Nearly all factories, barns, and the previous Finnish administrative buildings are in ruins, some of them have been vandalised during the past few years.

How big is the catastrophe waiting behind the Eastern border of the European Union? There are stories about regions with 90% unemployment rates. Fields are not ploughed. The single source of income to many people is selling forest berries and mushrooms. More than half of the inhabited villages try to survive without a shop or other services. Monthly pensions of less than €50 does not provide great opportunities for the people.

Vyborg, a medieval Finnish stone and trading town, is now only a shadow of its previous international splendour. Vyborg's medieval stone castle is collapsing. Trading with St. Petersburg has faded. One treasure, the Kalevela, the Finnish national epic, has been preserved in Karelia, and has become a part of world culture.

ProKarelia is an independent citizen movement, which wants to start international dialogue aimed at correcting the injustice that Finland has experienced regarding Karelia. ProKarelia aims for the restoration of Karelia back into the context of Finland and the EU in a peaceful manner. This should proceed in cooperation with the Russian Federation. During the reconciliation process, the interests of both sides will be taken into account.

Russia and the Russians have suffered enormously due to the former Soviet Union and the Communist Party. Russia is now going through a period of many changes. It is certain, that someday, a national dialogue and grieving process in the memory of the Soviet victims will commence in Russia, too.

Northern Europe does not need a humanitarian catastrophe. Instead, Karealia urgently needs international aid, which includes Finnish administration, support of the EU, Euro currency and international investments protected by the laws of Finland and the European Union.

ProKarelia has carried out a survey regarding the return of Karelia. This survey shows, without doubt, that returning is advantageous to all sides. The return of Karelia will be an international project, which all participants can benefit from and avoid a complete humanitarian catastrophe. The medieval stone castle of Vyborg will be saved. Strong Euro area support will assist the development of St. Petersburg and the rest of Russia. Justice will be done, and thus there will be a constructive basis for developing Russia in international cooperation.

Please acquaint yourself with our extensive photo gallery. You can read and subscribe articles on this subject on our homepages.

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Karjalan ja Petsamon palautus -kirja on julkaistu 14.10.2010 Tarton rauhan 90-vuotispäivänä.

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

Tilaa kirja Karelia Klubi Kaupasta, sähköposti tai 05 541 6450, hinta 19:50 euroa.

Koko Suomen kartta vuodesta 1920

Please transfer to Kansalaisvetoomus Internet site. This is an apply for the return of Karelia. It's not a membership form.


Candomino laulaa karjalaisia lauluja [mp3-file].


Karjalan satakielen Laps' olen Karjalan [4.9 MB mp3-file].