Nordic Affairs


Time to see if Putin fancies taking us for a dance.

Tough guy better shore up on advisors if he thinks we're going to play possum to his threats. He's concentrated his throw-away and disposable level military like pawns at the front. Now he has to consider our shared 1,300km shared border and what moves he'd like to make. Maybe he thinks we'll be in the sauna drinking olut, but he'll be wrong there.

Niinistö and Marin are on the same page, as is the entire nation.

Sweden are considering their position but will likely step up over the weekend if not sooner.

With the Russian forces getting dragged back and forth over the Ukrainian lines these last two weeks, his boys are most likely pissed the fuck off with all this egotistic foreplay and shallow penetration. He's literally fucking Ukraine: in and out, in and out; deep and shallow, side to side, and back over the lines again. His boys have little grace - slaughtering women and children is not a good look for his present campaign. Maybe China might decide to partner him on the European dancefloor, but the Russians don't waste their money on the toss away-trash which is your average Chinese exports. 90% of what they trade is trinket level junk only Hector Grey types buy up in bulk.

Putin's boys are dragged up to serve.

Finnish citizens sign themselves up and serve: they ALL get one full year of military training, so Putin's not taking on a paid army here: he's taking on a nation which is fiercely proud and extremely determined. Every man, woman, boy and girl, have had some degree of military training. Those who can't operate on the fronts will operate as the civil guard, much like Lotta Svard during the Winter War when they attacked and we drove them back over the lines even though we were outnumbered ten to one.

We slaughtered them then, we'll roast their asses this time should they take the bait. There's an electricity in the air these last few days. Even on the high streets, people locking eyes and signalling unity in every way they can. The civil guard will need extra hands, I'm happy to sign up. In fact, I asked my bassist Antti to point me in the right direction as to where best to offer hands.

You can feel it in the air: the Finns are prepared, just a half hour ago the tram I took back from the center had around eight to ten junior military lads in full dress. Huge sacks on their back signal that the barracks are being cleared and space being made for hospital and emergency functions. Lots of army vehicles on the move too: trucks full of boys on their way up to the northern forests to take up positions not manned since the 1950's.

It's beginning.

So be it.

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I read some bits and pieces about Russian and Finnish history and some lovely local lore popped up in research terms in the Inspector Pekkala novels (recommended, weird in a great way).

Apparently there is or was a fear of the Finns among the Russian peoples. The Russians for a long time thought the Finns possessed magical skills of being able to appear and disappear in the forests and tundra, which they demonstrated an ability to do alright in WWII and before it.

But apparently the Finns spook the average Russian soldier no end and they are very superstitious about them. Bear in mind most Russian soldiers would be country boys well used to believing superstitions.

If the Russian army is as poor as it has seemed in the Ukraine conflict so far I'd expect the Finns to have a better than even chance on territory they know.


Oddly and eccentrically enough, the evening news tonight from the Sami people of northern Finland and across the circle regarding the Finnish NATO application was a stoic but pragmatic 'what or why in the sweet bejayusing name of fuck would Putin want to invade THIS?' from one bewildered Sami mother of two.

I love Finland.



Today, Finland has applied to join NATO.

Sweden are expected to apply tomorrow.

Putin spoke with President Sauli Niinistö yesterday in what was referred to as a factual and down to earth non-aggressive call based on the simple facts. Putin's reaction was said to be muted, and the loudest objections apparently came from Erdogan down in Turkey.

So this gambit will likely soon see some form of reaction from Putin after he's had time to digest it and read the implications, but the attitude across the country is overwhelmingly positive. We have an active and a reserve army, a civil guard (to which I've already applied) and the spirit of sisu and Lotta Svärd in our hearts.

The nation is about as prepared as we can possibly be. Decades of obligatory conscription has seen to that. How Putin's going to react remains to be seen. But Finland is as one on the issue and the ambience across the nation is overwhelmingly positive.

A fine fuck you to Putin's ego - let's see what he has to say.
Yep. If they didn't have NATO airbases they could have been told to f*ck off long ago. At one point both they and Israel were musing whether to apply for EU membership.

Neither of them are in Europe, physically or psychologically.


From a cultural point of view, they're still at the raw meat stage of becoming European.

As for Israel - I hope their nuclear program results on six million more dead Jews.
I think Ireland should definitely get involved if Putin ever tries to attack Finland, Norway or Denmark. We wouldn't be able to supply much in the way of military technology- unless ... we could file down the heads of Unionists until they fit in an 88 millimetre.

We could send Dwyer up on the hill to do the spotting and calibration. Dwyer guided missiles.


I'm still on the fence regarding Ukraine considering historicity and NATO's arrogant behavior towards Russia in recent decades, but an invasion of the Nordic countries is a big no-no.

Were the Kremlin to decide to invade Finland and Sweden, the whole of Europe would be justified in declaring war on Russia.
I'm with Mowly and the Finns on that one. I wouldn't be much good in the forests with the Finns but I'd be much handier in my own forest- the digital one :)

I like the analogy of a snow covered forest because once or twice when out and about I spot tracks in the digital snow that I know.

When you bear in mind that we all have individual profiles that only coincide perhaps in forums such as this, it is possible to stumble across someone you know or recognise because their profile is similar in some ways as your own.

My schtick and experience is as a commercial and policy researcher, if I had to name any profession, so while I wouldn't be the greatest technical bod I am as good in my forest where the undergrowth is tangled information, as the Finn is as good in the forests of the Tundra.

I spotted another researcher's tracks in the snow once. There are only a handful of researchers who are fairly expert in a certain area to the level this researcher (at Harvard) is so I could see her tracks in the snow and knew she'd been looking at the same info I was chasing down.

I've never interacted with her but I'm aware of her and pretty sure she'll have spotted me too at some point. I know she is a topline researcher though by the way her tracks are pointed :)

Quite good fun. But I'll fight my way in my forest as no one would give me a rifle and I'd only get lost in a Finnish forest and be a danger more to my own side.

But I could be a Headhunter on my own in my forest... certainly would be a pain in the arse to the Rodina one way or another.


Well, the roof hasn't caved in just yet, regardless of the dread and horror being predicted by half-wits on the intersnots. Our rather tense relationship with Russia is still the same as it ever was: gently abiding with each other and staying on our own lane in the diplomatic motorway covered in snow and black ice that is Ukraine.

Yes, I see many more youthful blokes returning from training in full fatigues and for sure that steely stare in their eye is one I've seen many times before. A lot of the kids I worked with over the years went on to serve their obligatory full year with the military and the childishness and innocence they once had are squeezed out like a toothpaste tube with its last squirt of paste. From boy to man in less than one calendar year. When they back after their service, they weren't the same at all. They took things very seriously and it dawned on me that the way they measured their available became a military-like exercise in squeezing the most from every minute of time they had.

That steely attitude serves them well out in the forests: nothing is given to them and everything they get comes at a price. A rabbit to strip and cook. Some fruit berries from the trees. Making fire. Keeping their socks dry and their boots tight. A flat bit of the forest floor to get some sleep, even if it's only a few minutes at a time.

It's tough enough, but nowhere near as hard as it was on the Finns of the Winter War generation.

But it's still good to know that the boys are getting drilled by some of the best military strategists and field lieutenants the country has. Like my bassist Antti: sweetest guy you might meet when dressed in his duds and carrying his Fender jazz bass. Another fish altogether when in uniform and three hundred juniors to train out in the wilds.

I love that aspect of the Finns: you never know what the 'hidden' side of their nature is until its called for. Full of surprises. Full of determination, the same determination they apply to everything in their lives.


Erdogan insists Finland and Sweden cease their support for Kurdish groups before being admitted to NATO.

That's a totally made-up claim that Finland gives a flying hammer in a china-ship about the Kurds.

Erdogan's grasping at anything to kick up a row so he can grease himself a few more demands.

The Finns have a deeper relationship with The Soldiers of Odin - and we laugh at them.

The Kurds?


Yellow snow-eating distraction and obfuscation from Turkey.


Here's an interesting conversation between Yan Mac Oireachtaigh, Ceannaire Na hÓige Náisiúnaí, and Juuso Siltanen, Deputy-Chairman of the Finnish youth organisation, Uudenman Akseli.

Recorded on 15 July 2022. For further information on Uudenmaan Akseli follow them here:


As you can hear, his English is rather good for a person speaking English as a third language after Finnish, Swedish, and likely some Russian too. You'll find it difficult in Finland to find instructions or general information in English, but if you ask people to help you out, they'll try to sort you.

But I find it kind of hilarious hearing how exacting Juuso is in his descriptive use of English and the flat Dublin drawl of his interviewer, Yan Mac Oireachtaigh. The Irish guy has an obvious limitation in his stunted use of the language and his general expressions seem laboured and kind of put on.

But anyway, Finnish nationalism and Irish nationalism are hardly in step with each other: the Irish version comes across as local and rather militant while the Finnish variety takes a more worldly view. An interesting conversation all the same, it'll give you the lie of the land here in Suomi.


It's good to see idiots like Valamhic spending so much of his time reading about Finland. His hate for the Mowl has actually made him something of a fan of Finnish culture, which is a gas to me. Every day he goes looking for things online to post on Arsefield's to make Finland look bad, but every time he does it he makes us seem really cool.

This is his Finnish internet search for today: the top six serial killers in Finland.

He has a horn for the Juhano Aatominpoika, the killer from two centuries back. This is because when Val sees a cartoon, he thinks it must be an amusing thing being lampooned. It's a lot like how I see him too: every time he makes another megalomaniac video on his nutty channel, I can't stop laughing at him.

The way his eyes keep twitching.

The droop on the left side of his face (likely a stroke he hasn't noticed yet - it's getting worse all the time).

Constantly sticking his finger into his auditory canal and looking at the lumps he pulls out.

Picking snots and eating them.

Drinking his 'tay' with a slurp while mouth-breathing.

Shifting around on his seat so he can fart silently while addressing the camera.

Smelling his own farts and smiling to himself, like in this one:

And how oblivious he is to the fact that everyone can see he never changes his clothes. And this from a man who's a self-confessed shite shoveler? If he wears the same fat man pants and shirt under a suit jacket for a week, then you can bet the same applies to his y-fronts: the poor fucking wife? The shit streaks in his pants from shitting outside in the fields and ditches? The rotten orange/yellow piss stains all over the front of them? That woman deserves danger money.

But Mowl deserves payment for education the smelly bastard in Finnish culture and lifestyle.

Slowly but surely I'm culturing the old fart.

He ought to be grateful, but being a Cavan man, that'll never happen.


June through to end of July is always fun in Helsinki; the city treats us to free music festivals out in the open air of Alppipuisto all day and into the evening from 1400-2200 each Saturday and Sunday (sometimes also Friday evenings from 1800-2200) with three stages offering everything you could possibly want from jazz to techno to pop and rock and live artworks.

Lots of ethnic food stalls, access to all necessary amenities, but I usually bring my own treats: a few chilled beers (the only occasion I ever drink beer apart from sauna parties) a few pre-rolled spliffs, and a blanket to sit on and have a picnic with friends. This weekend is mainly techno, which I dislike, but the atmosphere is always great and the location is simply stunning. It's an all-family event too with lots of treats for the kids: face-painting, activity games, feet painting (the kids take off their shoes and socks and step into buckets of water-based paint, then go wild on a 4xM2 sheet of white paper). My man Pedro does his 'Bag Bolls' things with these giant see-through balloons you can climb into strap yourself tight, then go rolling around like a kid.

Today's show began a few hours back but I prefer the evening part as the sun sets behind the main stage and everyone's having a blast. The Roma people do a great job collecting your trash, but it's your cans and bottles they're really after, these can be returned to the shop and credit offered for each item, so no official cleaning staff are even needed. A handy trade-off. The Roma come with huge sacks and usually a van to load the sacks of empties into. They're not allowed to touch your stuff, you give them a nod and they'll come over and take whatever you're giving them: trash assigned to the correct bins, and the rest of your containers taken back for store credit.

There's usually a mobile sauna you can use, boys and girls alike but towels must be brought and worn for the more prudish. Last year it was a sauna built by the son of a mate who designed a gas-fueled sauna you can hook onto your tow-bar and take it anywhere. It seats four at a time, so you have to book your slot in advance.

How about you guys? Does Ireland treat her citizens to free summertime weekenders? Alppipuisto is a city park, serviced by three trams, dozens of buses, has cycle paths and walking paths, and although the cops usually show up to show off their horses, they go easy on smokers and let us be, so long as we're not making a show of ourselves. Drinking is encouraged, as is dancing, picnicking, and anything you like. The performers are paid by the city council and the selection process is arranged before Spring even begins. Average numbers in attendance are usually around the 10,000/15,000.

How about you guys?

Any state-sponsored fun to be had without your eye being gouged out?

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