Sorry, FINLAND, I Forgot Your Birthday!

Dear Readers:

Given that the motto of my blog is “Human Dignity“, I try to be as cosmopolitan and internationalist as possible, therefore I am truly sorry that I forgot Finland’s birthday.  Well, actually Independence Day.

Finns are probably mad at me now.

It was on 6 December, according to Wikipedia.  I can be forgetful sometimes, it’s probably because I am not on Facebook, so I don’t have one of those reminders, when it’s time to buy a present for your nephew.  Or one of your favorite countries.

But anyhow, here is what wiki has to tell us about Finnish independence, in a few snippets:

The February and the October Revolution in 1917, had also ignited hopes in the Grand Duchy of Finland. After the abdication of Grand Duke Nicholas II on 15 March 1917, the personal union between Russia and Finland lost its legal base – at least according to the view in Helsinki. There were negotiations between the Russian Interim Government and Finnish authorities


On 15 November 1917, the Bolsheviks declared a general right of self-determination, including the right of complete secession, “for the Peoples of Russia”. On the same day the Finnish Parliament issued a declaration by which it assumed, pro tempore, all powers of the Sovereign in Finland.


On 18 December (31 December N. S.) the Soviet Russian government issued a Decree, recognizing Finland’s independence, and on 22 December (4 January 1918 N. S.) it was approved by the highest Soviet executive body, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK).

Olefirov and the Friendship of Nations

You get the gist.  Independence was sort of handed to Finland on a silver platter.  By the Evil Bloody Bolsheviks.  Without the Finns themselves having to fight a bloody war for it.

Lenin to Finland: “You want it, baby? It’s YOURS!”

And now we jump forward in time, to this piece from PolitNavigator , this story was from yesterday, and it was what reminded me about Finland’s Independence Day.  The story is titled:  “Ukrainian Ambassador to Finland Disgraces Self in the Matter of (Finnish) History”.

The piece is only a few paragraphs long, so here is a full translation into English:


Ukraine’s Ambassador to Finland, Ondriy Olefirov demonstrated his howling illiteracy not just in matters of spelling, but also, mainly, his complete lack of knowledge of the country in which he dwells.  As it transpires,  he doesn’t even know the circumstances by which Finland gained independence.  Even though Finland for something like 100 years was part of the same unified state to which most of what is currently the territory of Ukraine, also belonged.

[Ukrainian blogger] Vladimir Kornilov wrote about a “completely demented” discussion that he had with Oliferov.  [He is talking about the Twitter exchange, which is shown in the PolitNavigator piece.]

What struck me most, Kornilov wrote

is not just his historical illiteracy (you would think he could learn at least a little bit about the country he is living in), but his overall ignorance.  For example, when he says:  “Go ahead and place a candle in the church, it won’t save you, but it will help you to purify yourself.”  How many primitive mistakes, just in that one short sentence!

Ondriy Oliferov: The dumbest man in the room

Just so you know, this illiterate Pan is the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Service.  Moreoever, he was put in this job by none other than President Yanukovych!  But somehow he eluded lustration.  The lustration committees, obviously, only look at a person’s “ideological literacy” and not at their actual literacy.

One of the [Twitter] commenters, a political expert, writes:  “Ugh!  And this type even has a degree in Philology from Kiev University!  Which also says a lot….”

“He doesn’t even know anything about Christianity,” responds journalist Igor Kruglov, “if he thinks that the candle is some kind of cleansing device.”

And now we get to his remarks about Lenin’s role in Finnish independence, and what did Lenin reply to the Finnish delegation’s request to grant independence to their country?

Historian G. Usykin writes the following:

On 17 December Vladimir Ilyich is looking over and making corrections to the agenda for the session of the Soviet of Peoples Commissars.  He notices that on the agenda is the item of the Finnish request to the Russian government, regarding independence.

The session started late on 18 December and continued into the morning of 19 December.  It was only after 21:00 that the Finnish agenda item was gotten to.

Ukrainian Bolshevik Alexander Grigorievich Shlikhter granted Finns their independence.

One of the participants, Alexander Grigorievich Shlikhter, remembered this whole incident very well [and wrote in his memoirs]:

“Vladimir Ilyich!  The Finnish delegation has arrived and requests to be heard.”

[Lenin]:  “Here is the Decree about Finnish Independence.  Everything is in order.  Just give it to them.”

“But Vladimir Ilyich!  Shouldn’t you give it to them yourself?”

[Lenin]:  “Why do I have to?  Just give it to them.  Figure something out.  Tell them we can’t be bothered to interrupt this important session.”

This entry was posted in Human Dignity, Russian History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sorry, FINLAND, I Forgot Your Birthday!

  1. Cortes. says:

    Hilarious! Would make a great scene in a Coen Brothers film.


    • yalensis says:

      And the kicker is that it was, technically, a Ukrainian who granted Finnish independence!
      (Although I am guessing that Shlikhter didn’t really think of himself as a Ukrainian – just a wild guess.)


  2. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Happy birthday, my arse.

    I pray God it’s their last.


    • yalensis says:

      Oh, you’re just so mean, Pavlo. You should be PROUD that your fellow countryman granted the noble Finns their long-sought-after independence from Russia!


      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Truly, my black heart is swelling with pride – if only another Ukrainian were to terminate Finnish independence, it might burst.


        • Jen says:

          With the co-operation of Kiev, Brussels, Berlin, the IMF and the World Bank, that might just happen.


          • yalensis says:

            Oh sure, then we have to clean up the sticky oozy mess, after Pavlo’s black heart bursts all over the place!


            • Jen says:

              BTW I left another post earlier (I clicked twice so the duplicate will turn up as well) which might’ve gone into your spam box because it had three links to Wikipedia, a news article and the English-language version of the Russian President’s website.


          • yalensis says:

            Oops, sorry Jen, it WAS in my spam box.
            I haven’t yet gotten into the routine of checking my spam every day. But I will now, I promise.
            Ah, there is your post, magically, right below this comment:


  3. Jen says:

    Going off the topic here, to the other side of the Gulf of Finland where reside the Finns’ brethren in language and genetics (a part of the Latvian population is descended from Livs, a former Finnic ethnic group), I have just read that Estonia has been hosting a NATO cyber-surveillance centre in Tallinn since 2006:

    and that Riga will be blessed with a Centre of NATO Propaganda Propagation … erm, I mean Centre of Journalism Excellence:

    So the sudden interest of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Latvian cyber-security chief Ieva Kupce in each other really did smell more than a bit whiffy. I kind of sensed a new power elite in the making.

    Recall also that Ilves has always been gung-ho about getting Estonian society all switched over to the Internet to the extent that people can vote in Estonian elections through the Internet, using any computer anywhere in the world, in spite of very real security issues with online voting.

    The Estonian cyber-defence centre and the Latvian journalism centre were identified by Russian Defence Minister Dmitri Shoigu as part of NATO’s frontline in shoring up the potential war front in Europe against Russia in his speech to the annual general meeting of the Russian Federation Defence Ministry Board which the Russian President also attended.


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