“Finland should immediately apply to join NATO. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken quickly over the next few days”, - Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said in a statement posted on the website.
Interestingly, in January 2022, less than a third of Finns wanted to join NATO - 28%. And judging by the survey published on May 9 by YLE, already 76% of residents believe that this is necessary.
Sweden, like Finland, plans to apply to NATO on Monday, May 16.
It is clear that such a rush is due to Russia conducting a special operation in Ukraine. But not only. All Finns also remember the so-called "Winter War" of 1939-1940, unleashed by the USSR only in order to move its border away from Leningrad in case of a war with Germany. The border was pushed back, Finland lost about 11% of its territory, but the USSR paid a completely catastrophic price for this - more than 100 thousand people died and more than 250 thousand were injured (the Finns lost three times less).
But not only this war remained in the memory of the Finns. There was another, much less known in Russia, but as a result of which Finland turned into a Russian colony for more than a hundred years. Documentary evidence of that war is cited in his blog by deacon Andrey Kuraev :
“The Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 was started by Russia: without declaring war, its troops crossed the Swedish (Finnish) border.
By the way, in the 19th century they wrote openly: “Russia owes a lot to Arakcheev in the conquest of Finland” (Bulgarin F. Memoirs. Vol. 5. St. Petersburg, 1848, p. 41).
Further, I will quote the memoirs of Thaddeus Bulgarin, who, as a very young beardless officer, took part in this campaign:
“All Finnish villagers are excellent shooters, and in every house there were guns and spears. Strong foot and horse crowds were formed, which were led by pastors, landmen and Finnish officers and soldiers. They attacked weak Russian detachments, hospitals, and killed the mercilessly sick and healthy ... The angry mob raged! The indignation was in full force, and the people's war was seething with all its horrors (p. 50) ...
These riflemen, knowing the terrain, took advantage of it and, retreating in front of us along the main road, sent small parties of skirmishers to the sides, hiding behind stones or in the forest. It was impossible to turn aside a hundred steps from the main road so as not to be shot at (p. 86) ... Savolak shooters, our most dangerous enemies in this impregnable country, were the peasants of a wooded and swampy region. In peacetime, these shooters lived in their own homes. They all fought bravely and were extremely bitter against the Russians (pp. 87-88)...
The first victim of the fury of the angry mob were life Cossacks from the detachment of Count Orlov-Denisov. 70 Cossacks were taken by surprise by the villagers and tortured to death. It is said that the villagers threw the wounded into the fire along with the dead. Some pickets were chopped into small pieces with axes. They found the headless corpses of our soldiers, buried upright in the ground up to their chests. The people's war was in full swing (p. 119) ... Count Orlov-Denisov began to act against the partisans and announced that every peasant caught in a riot would be shot (p. 120) ...
Armed crowds of peasants in the forests exterminated our foragers and our remote posts. These partisans did an excellent job. The lack of food supplies forced us to send foragers to a long distance to take cattle from the peasants, looking for their dwellings in the forests, and each forage cost us several people killed and wounded (p. 137) ...
The Finnish war was a people's war. The desperate resistance of the Swedish army and the inhabitants of Finland (p. 276) ... The Swedish commander had on his side all the advantages of a general defending his fatherland. All the inhabitants took his side, strengthened his rear, delivered boats, carts, food and tried to harm us as much as possible (pp. 278-279) Bulgarin F. Memoirs. T. 3. St. Petersburg, 1847. ".
Interestingly, after the end of the Second World War, Finland declared its complete neutrality, and remained in this status for more than 70 years, while Sweden was neutral even longer, almost immediately after the very Russian-Swedish war lost to it, that is, more than 200 years ! And now both countries have abandoned neutrality. In this regard, American military analyst Scott Ritter warns the Finns and Swedes:
“NATO has promised membership to Ukraine, and has been training their military since 2014. And what happened to the Ukrainian armed forces? They are being destroyed right now on the battlefield. They are losing entire battalions. They are losing this war. Ukraine bought into the promise that it could join NATO. Although Russia said that if Ukraine moves towards NATO membership, it will lead to war. Nobody believed Russia. And in the midst of all this, Finland and Sweden are saying, “maybe we should join NATO?”. Finland must understand that Russia really means what she says. If Russia says: no eastward expansion of NATO, this is a vital threat to Russia - that's what she means. Especially if we are talking about Finnish land, so close to St. Petersburg, the Kola Peninsula. They will not allow NATO to operate on Finnish soil, they will not allow Finland to become part of NATO. Isn't that clear?! Hasn't Ukraine taught anyone anything?!”