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The myth of the “Finlandization” of Ukraine

The myth of the “Finlandization” of Ukraine
Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Edited by: Melodia Kouklewsky

The American political expert Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks of the need to “transform Ukraine into Finland.”

In his understanding this means military assistance to Ukraine as well as its “Finlandization”  — in other words, the conversion of Ukraine into a neutral state on the borders of Russia and the West. This proposal not only points to a lack of understanding of political legality, it also reveals a refusal to recall history.

When the Kremlin was fighting with Finland, there was no discussion about recognizing its neutrality. The goal was to destroy the Finish state. A DNR style government of the “Finnish Democratic Republic,” headed by the traitor Otto Kuusinen, was created on the occupied territory. The Finns were able to defend their freedom only because they had exhausted their opponent  and sacrificed a part of their territory, but this did not result in any friendship or neutrality. And no one, by the way, achieved peace in  Europe either: the Second World War continued. What happed then? Why did Finland become a neutral country? Because Stalin did not want to fight with Hitler on its territory, and neither did Roosevelt or Churchill. The war in Karelia was difficult and not needed by the Allies. Finland was able to retain its independence in exchange for refusing a war with the Allies as well as its own war with Germany. In the end, however, it turned out to be a country that was under the considerable influence of Moscow.

It is true that socialism was not imposed on Finland. But practically right up to Gorbachev its government was forced to consider the USSR in practically everything. This applied even when forming a government, electing a president, and in the way the Finnish papers referred to the USSR. Moscow paid for all this. Not only by not invading, but also with providing access to cheap wood, for example.

Well, Ukraine has already been that kind of country. During the time of Yanukovych and earlier, during the time of Kuchma, and it has turned out that Russia does not guarantee this type of status for Ukraine.

Let us remember that Russia occupied Crimea and launched the war in the Donbas not in response to any decision by Ukraine to join NATO or even the European Union, but after Ukraine had decided to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union. Finland — while dependent on the USSR — signed a similar agreement in 1973! In 1973! During the Brezhnev era! And no one invaded. Why?

Because by that time the Kremlin had already accepted the independence of Finland. The Karelian-Finnish SSR to which (the Soviets) had prepared to attach Finland was dissolved still in 1956. It was considered unnecessary.

But the Kremlin has not yet accepted the independence of Ukraine. In this sense Ukraine resembles not the Finland of 1944 but the Finland of 1939. (The Soviets) wanted to destroy the Finland of 1939. They were ready to come to an agreement with the Finland of 1944. For that reason Moscow viewed Finland’s neutrality as a compromise. But Russia considers the neutrality of Ukraine a defeat. Russia does not need for Ukraine to be neutral but for it to cease to exist. Is this really something that is not clear for Brzezinski?

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Edited by: Melodia Kouklewsky
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