Finnish reservists of the Guard Jaeger Regiment stand at a shooting range as they take part in a military exercise at the Santahamina military base in Helsinki, Finland on March 7, 2023. LEHTIKUVA

Finland in the world press

Here is a selection of what the international press has published about Finland in the last week:

Finland’s Resilience and Preparedness in the Face of Russian Threats: Lessons from History

The article about Finland’s resilience and preparedness in the face of Russian threats, was published in BNN Breaking on March 3.

The article explores how Finland remains unfazed and ready amid global concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, with a strong commitment to readiness dating back to Soviet bombings in 1944.

The article highlights that Finland’s defense strategy includes mandatory shelters and compulsory conscription, reflecting a determination to never be caught off-guard. Finland’s shelters serve dual purposes, providing safety during emergencies and functioning as community centers during peacetime. These shelters, such as the one in Hakaniemi, are designed to accommodate thousands of people during emergencies while also serving as recreational spaces during peacetime.

The historical context of Soviet bombings in 1944 serves as a crucial backdrop for understanding Finland’s defense strategy in the article. The Soviet Union’s campaign aimed to pressure Finland into peace negotiations, resulting in significant casualties and leaving a lasting impact on the nation. This history has instilled a sense of vigilance and determination within Finland, leading to the continued funding of defense forces and the maintenance of shelters throughout the country.

Recent events in Ukraine have intensified Finnish concerns, prompting discussions about NATO membership to bolster defense posture. Finland’s history and current approach to defense offer valuable lessons on maintaining sovereignty and security in an unpredictable world.

Original story was published by BNN Breaking on 03.03.2024 and can be found here.

Finland approves construction of Patria’s F-35 assembly facility

Finland’s approval for the construction of Patria’s F-35 assembly facility, was covered in an article by Defense News on March 1. The article highlights the move as a significant milestone in the country's defense modernization efforts.

The decision follows the $9.6 billion procurement contract between Finland’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Lockheed Martin for 64 F-35 Block 4 fighter jets. The assembly facility, located near Nokia, will be instrumental in maintaining and servicing Finland’s F-35 fleet throughout its life cycle.

The article emphasizes that the industrial cooperation agreement aims to enhance Finland’s defense industry capabilities, including maintenance and repair expertise. The assembly plant will collaborate with Patria’s aviation division in Tampere and is expected to employ approximately 100 personnel.

“Industrial cooperation tied to the F-35 agreement will generate critical maintenance and repair expertise for Finland’s indigenous defense industry. This includes performance areas like reliability of maintenance. The agreement will also create significant know-how in Finland for F-35 engine assembly and testing,” Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen said.

The acquisition of F-35s is part of Finland’s strategy to replace its aging F/A-18 Hornet jets by 2030. The industrial component of the F-35 acquisition deal may expand to include the production or assembly of aircraft parts and systems in Finland.

The article also boasts of Finland’s rigorous testing of the F-35’s adaptability to extreme weather conditions, particularly in Arctic regions.

Original story was published by Defense News on 01.03.2024 and can be found here.

A landmark Finnish study is changing how we approach transgender kids

This article about a significant study conducted in Finland that challenges the prevailing belief about the life-saving effects of medical interventions for transgender youth, was published in New York Post on February 24. Traditionally, proponents of gender-transition treatments argue that these interventions are not only necessary but also life-saving for transgender individuals, particularly youth. The article looks into the landmark study that has investigated whether these interventions indeed led to a reduction in suicide rates among transgender youth.

The Finnish study found that the administration of cross-sex hormones and gender-transition surgeries did not have a significant impact on suicide rates among transgender adolescents and young adults. Moreover, the study revealed that the elevated suicide rates observed in this population were primarily associated with severe psychiatric problems rather than their gender distress.

The lead researcher, Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, emphasized the importance of prioritizing comprehensive mental health care for transgender youth. This suggests that addressing underlying mental health issues may be more effective in reducing suicide risk among transgender individuals than controversial medical interventions.

The study's findings challenge the widely held belief among supporters of gender-transition treatments and prompt a reconsideration of the approach to transgender healthcare. It raises questions about the efficacy and necessity of medical interventions in addressing the mental health needs of transgender youth.

Original story was published by New York Post on 24.02.2024 and can be found here.

The Finnish miracle: how the country halved its suicide rate – and saved countless lives

Finland’s efforts to reduce the country’s suicide rates was covered in an article by The Guardian on February 22. The article explores how Finland, once known for having one of the highest suicide rates globally, managed to halve its suicide rate over the past three decades.

Through a combination of national initiatives and interventions, Finland significantly reduced its suicide mortality, despite its challenging climate and historical stigma surrounding mental health issues and suicide.

Key factors contributing to Finland’s success in suicide prevention include the implementation of national suicide prevention projects, improved care for depressive disorders, better treatments, and guidelines for addressing psychiatric disorders. Additionally, initiatives like the suicide prevention project and crisis centers have played crucial roles in providing support and intervention for those at risk.

The article highlights the changing attitudes towards suicide in Finnish society, with increased awareness, openness, and willingness to discuss mental health issues. It also addresses the evolving nature of suicide risk factors, including the impact of social media on bullying and loneliness, as well as the importance of safety planning for individuals with a history of suicide attempts.

Original story was published by The Guardian on 22.02.2024 and can be found here.

‘The Unknown Soldier’ Team Prepares for ‘Conflict’ With Unknown Enemy That Puts Finland Under Military Threat: ‘It’s More Current Than Ever’

The upcoming political and military thriller series titled “Conflict,” was covered in an article by Variety on February 28. Created by Aku Louhimies and Andrei Alén, and produced by Backmann & Hoderoff, the show portrays Finland under military threat as it is invaded by mercenaries, aiming to incite broader conflict in Europe.

Despite the ongoing Russian threat to Finland, the adversary in the series remains unidentified, adding to the tension and complexity of the storyline. The series focuses on hybrid warfare and the challenges of identifying and countering an elusive enemy while minimizing harm to civilians.

“We started planning this show many years ago. We used to say it’s a scenario that would never happen. It would never be a part of our life. Now, it’s more current than ever, but it’s still fiction,” Louhimies told Variety.

With timely references to real-world events, such as Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the series promises to deliver action-packed sequences while maintaining realism and respectfulness. Conflict features Sara Soulié as the newly elected president, navigating intense political and personal challenges amidst the crisis. The creators aim to reach a global audience with the series, which is set to span three seasons and includes a diverse cast of international talent.

Original story was published by Variety on 28.02.2024 and can be found here.