FINNS have donated the second most to the Armed Forces of Ukraine through SignMyRocket, an online service allowing people to have their messages written on ammunition used to defend Ukraine, reports YLE.
Anton Sokolenko, a representative of the non-governmental organisation behind the service, told the Finnish public broadcaster by e-mail that the service has received around 600–700 orders, with a total value of over 140,000 euros, from Finland.
Only Americans, he added, have donated more through the service than Finns.
Sokolenko also stated that the donations are used to acquire cars, drones, generators, tyres and warm clothes for members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Among the Finns who have publicly talked about their donations through the service are Jussi Halla-aho (PS), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Martti J. Kari, a professor of practice, security and strategic analyses at the University of Jyväskylä, and author Sofi Oksanen. Their donation announcements have provoked heated discussion not only on social media – where some commentators have viewed that the practice glorifies killing – but also on Iltalehti and Helsingin Sanomat.
Halla-aho on Monday wrote on Facebook that demonising Russian soldiers and carnivalising their killing is necessary.
“The war won’t end until so many Russian soldiers have been killed that it becomes politically or militarily impossible for Russian leaders to continue the war,” he argued. “If killing Russian soldiers is right and necessary in this circumstance, also everything that promotes their killing is right and necessary.”
Oksanen, similarly, defended the practice by arguing that irony, humour and anecdotes are forms of resistance that can be critical for the public ability to cope in challenging circumstances.
“They helped people to cope in the Soviet Union, and they also contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union,” she wrote in an e-mail to Helsingin Sanomat. “They are means for people to cope in undemocratic countries. They are now means for people to cope at the front, and they are now means for Ukrainians to cope in Ukraine. They are means to keep the resistance alive.”
Oksanen also suggested that such use of language does not compare to the how the Russian leadership is using language to foment genocide.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT