Sanna Marin knows that the real measure of Finnish sovereignty is just 883 miles long — the length of it’s border with the former (and future) United Soviet Socialist Republic. I’m sure she’s paced out every step in her mind since Russia invaded Ukraine.
So the Finnish leader must have huge (metaphorical) balls to stare Putin in the eye and defy him. Because that’s exactly what she’s doing. Marin is a leader, right when the country needs one.
Especially given that Russia has repeatedly threatened “serious political and military consequences” if Finland joins NATO. We’ll know that things are getting real when Sanna Marin starts wearing cargo pants.
It will signal that the first salvos of the “hybrid war” have begun.
What will those salvos look like?
How will Russia make Finland seem the aggressor this time?
Marin is a student of history: In 1939 Russia began massing forces on the Finnish border, then staged a fake flag operation by shelling it’s own troops. Blaming Finland, Russia launched the invasion, a quick annexation, back home for dinner.
Of course, they were very wrong.
105 days later, Finland yielded after 26,662 died defending their sovereignty. The cost to Russia? 391,783 young men, grist to the mill. The reds vastly underestimated the badass Finns, but in the end their sheer, unrelenting numbers won.
The only difference between 1939 and 2022 is that nobody came to help Finland. Today, the whole world is behind Zelenskyy. I’m sure Marin has noticed that, too.
But Marin will need more than youthful enthusiasm and her winsome looks. Putin may be busy just now, throwing more Russian bodies on the pyre of his egomaniacal ambitions, but when he’s done? Marin has defied him. Does anybody believe there won’t be reprisals?
But there may also be reprisals on the horizon which Putin himself hasn’t considered.
Russians has demonstrated for hundreds of years that the madness of emperors, oligarchs and presidents only ends when common people rise. Only the slaughter of the entire Romanov bloodline was enough to end the exesses of Imperial Russia in 1917.
In 2022, Putin’s legacy is just as repugnant. Or will be, when the ordinary Russian wakes up. Who will come for Vladimir? Maybe a modern Rasputin, someone who’s very hard to kill.
Hey! I know a guy:
Alternatively, there’s the “no war” option. Bend the knee once more and accept “Finlandization”, a pejorative term for cowing to the demands of a powerful neighbour.
I don’t think any Finn wants more of that. If you’re going to poke the Russki bear, poke that motherfucker hard.
Time to buy that khaki t-shirt, Sanna.