February 4, 2023

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Finland asks for security guarantees after a hammer attack on the Moscow embassy

Finland asks for security guarantees after a hammer attack on the Moscow embassy

The video shows masked men throwing hammers at the wall of the Finnish Embassy in Moscow.

A video posted on messaging app Telegram on Tuesday shows dozens of masked men running towards the Finnish Embassy in Moscow and throwing several large hammers over a fence. There were no embassy staff outside at the time.

According to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the deputy ambassador asked Russia to ensure the protection of the building and the safety of the staff, in line with international agreements.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, relations between neighboring countries have been greatly strained. For example, the Finnish government applied for NATO membership with broad public support. Finland also closed the borders to Russian tourists. Only Russians living, studying or working in Finland can still enter. The first pillars will soon be driven into the ground to build a three-meter-high steel fence along part of the 1,340-kilometre border with Russia.

According to the channel that published the video, the attack came in retaliation for the provocations against Russian diplomatic targets in Finland. Previously, stones and road signs were thrown onto the grounds of Russian diplomatic posts in Finland. It was alleged that objects were thrown at the surveillance cameras in the parking lot of a Russian consulate in Finland. The channel did not say where and when these attacks took place.

Before the war in Ukraine, Russia and Finland viewed each other as good neighbors, despite their ideological differences and fraught pasts. The Soviet Republic annexed a tenth of Finland in 1940. In the ensuing decades, during the Cold War, the Russians had great influence on Finnish politics against the will of the Finns. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Finns turned to the West. The country joined the European Union and joined the eurozone. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more Finns think negatively of Russia. An opinion poll commissioned by the Finnish Ministry showed that Finns in Russia are also becoming less popular.

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