From Business Insider:
A survey of people in Finland found that a majority wanted the country to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The survey by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum Eva think tank found that 60% of people supported Finland joining NATO, a massive jump from previous years. Eva polled 2,074 people between March 4 and March 15.
Finland shares a long border with Russia and was once part of the Russian Empire. After it gained independence, it was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 but fought back and was not defeated.
The country has for decades maintained a careful balance between Russia and Western countries, which involved avoiding NATO membership.
At the time of the last Eva survey in 2021, most Finns seemed to support that position, with only 34% backing NATO membership.
But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another non-NATO country, prompted a change — almost doubling support for NATO membership.
Ilkka Haavisto, the research manager at Eva, said of the results: “Russia has shown that it does not respect the integrity of its neighbors.
“The war in Ukraine has concretely shown what the horrors of a defensive war on Finland’s own territory would be and made it clear that NATO countries cannot use their military forces to help defend a nonaligned country.”
Link to the rest at Business Insider
PG realizes that the OP is not like his usual offerings for TPV.
He has a close friend who was born and raised in Finland, served a mandatory period of time in the Finnish army, then came to the United States on a university track and field scholarship. He is the only member of his family of origin who is living in the United States and returns to Finland on a regular basis.
From this friend, PG learned that a number of Finns who were caught on the wrong side of the boundary that ended The Winter War, also known as the First Soviet-Finnish War, 1939-40. World opinion generally favored the Finnish cause and, although vastly outnumbered, the Finns inflicted significant damage to the Red Army.
About 12,000 volunteers from other nations volunteered to join the Finnish Army, mostly from Sweden, Denmark and Norway. However, there were also volunteers from Hungary, Italy, Estonia and America (predominantly Americans with Finnish backgrounds ) who joined the Finns in fighting the Soviets.
Pursuant to the peace treaty that ended this war, Finland ceded about 9% of its land area to the Soviet Union. That wasn’t enough for Stalin who kept demanding more land from Finland after the treaty was signed.
The poor performance of the Red Army fighting against the Finns encouraged Adolph Hitler to attack the Soviets fifteen months later in Operation Barbarossa.
When PG’s Finnish friend returns to Finland each year, he always buys provisions and takes them over the Russian border to help the Finns who still live there and speak Finnish as their first language. He says the contrast between contemporary Finland and the lives of the Finns trapped in Russia is profound. “Everything is gray,” is one way he describes it.