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Survey: Majority of Finns consider Russia a significant military threat

Russia's attack on Ukraine has soured Finns' perceptions of Russia, but the majority of respondents still considered Russian citizens to be pleasant people, according to business think-tank Eva.

Nuori mies univormussa kantaa Venäjän lippuja.
The number of people who see Russia as a military threat has increased significantly since a year ago. Image: Grigory Vorobjov / Yle
Yle News

Eighty-four percent of Finns consider Russia to be a significant military threat, according to a recent values and attitudes survey from the Finnish Business Policy and Forum (Eva).

The proportion of people who considered Russia a threat increased by 25 percentage points since a similar survey was carried out last year.

Meanwhile, just six percent of respondents said they think that Russia does not pose a major military threat.

Eva's survey was carried out in early March and the results are based on the answers of more than 2,000 people.

Only about a fifth of respondents considered Russia to be part of the European cultural sphere, while 60 percent answered they did not consider Russia part of this sphere.

However, 58 percent of survey respondents considered Russian citizens to be pleasant people. Around 20 percent disagreed with this statement, and the remaining respondents found it difficult to say what they thought about Russian citizens.

Russian unreliability rises

Eva's survey also showed that more people in Finland find Russia to be untrustworthy, with 74 percent considering Russia to be an unreliable contract partner, an increase of 34 percentage points from last year.

"Finns' views on Russia are very gloomy. They also explain why a clear majority of Finns have turned to Nato membership. However, Finns believe that Russia's problem is not its people, but the country's leadership," Eva's research manager Ilkka Haavisto said in a statement.

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