Statement on the issue of pro-Russian propaganda activity in Finland
December 8, 2017
Despite the efforts of international community aimed at settlement of the situation in the Eastern Ukraine caused by military aggression of the Russian Federation in Donbas, some Finnish citizens have been spreading harmful ideas by supporting continuous assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In such circumstances, significant attention should be payed to the activity of Johan Bäckman and his acolytes who support Russia`s military aggression against Ukraine.
Recently, supporters of Mr. Bäckman have decided to arrange so-called “International Expert Conference” to spread the idea of recognition of self-proclaimed “republic” among citizens of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
The “conference” mentions among its topics “NATO as hybrid threat in Nordic countries; Russophobia and NATO propaganda in Western mainstream media; NATO influence operations among Nordic journalists; Information Defence of Donetsk People's Republic (DNR); Recognition of DNR in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.”
What is more, Mr. Bäckman’s team has created a fake account (http://hybridcoe.ru/) of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats established in Helsinki earlier this year to undermine the activity of the real Center (https://www.hybridcoe.fi/).
Now, on December 9, Mr. Bäckman is planning to host an event in Helsinki to open “representation of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Finland”.
I strongly believe that such an event should raise legitimate and serious concern of the Finnish authorities taking into account that public promotion of activities of terrorists, temporary holding control of certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, clearly contradicts the official policy of Finland and the EU.
I am grateful to Finland for the unwavering support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. I thank my colleagues - Finnish diplomats for spreading a word of the fake nature of the so-called “DPR representation” in Finland (http://bit.ly/1e1iFH3).
However, I do believe that we have to, once again, condemn such harmful activities for both Finnish and Ukraine societies to make sure that hatred and propaganda do not spread further.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Finland