The Lawfare Podcast: Finlandization’s Harsh Realities, with Antti Ruokonen

Jen Patja, David Priess, Antti Ruokonen
Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Finlandization is a troubled concept. It is generally used to describe the attempt by the Soviet Union during the Cold War to hold Finland in a position of neutrality and friendliness toward the Soviet Union, even while politically, Finland was more aligned with the West. In recent years—before the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it was sometimes brought up as a model for Ukraine to straddle the boundary between east and west. But for Finns, Finlandization meant something quite dark—the long-term subjugation of Finland's politics to the will of an authoritarian neighbor.

David Priess sat down with Antti Ruokonen, who wrote an article recently for Lawfare titled, “Why Finlandization is a Terrible Model for Ukraine.” They spoke about Finland's experience in the second World War, the imposed restrictions on its sovereignty because of this Finlandization during the Cold War, and the dangers of seeing Finlandization as a model for peaceful coexistence with Russia.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Antti Ruokonen holds a Master of Engineering degree from Finland. He works for the city of Vaasa as a civil engineer with over ten years of experience in environmental issues, infrastructure, and its resilience in the public sector. He is also a military historian and the author of several books.

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