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HS poll: Strong support for arming Ukraine against Russia; concerns about nuclear war

More than 90 percent of respondents said that Finland cannot normalise relations with Russia as long as Putin remains in power.

Sign on a civil defence shelter door (file photo). Image: Arvo Vuorela / Yle
Yle News

More than half of people in Finland are worried about the possibility of nuclear war, suggests a survey published on Sunday by the leading daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Nearly four in 10 respondents said they were worried about a possible expansion of the war in Ukraine to Finland, while two out of 10 said they were not concerned at all by such a prospect, according to the poll conducted for HS by Kantar Public.

The threat of nuclear war clearly concerns more women than men, and those living in rural areas are more worried about it than those living in cities. Women were also significantly more likely than men to be worried about a possible expansion of the war into Finland.

Normal ties impossible with Putin regime

Meanwhile 90 percent of those surveyed say that Finland cannot normalise relations with Russia as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in power, according to the first part of the poll, published on Saturday. Only six percent disagreed with that view.

Fifty-three percent of those polled said that regular Russian citizens are at least somewhat responsible for their country's war of aggression in Ukraine.

Eighty-four percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the only way to end the war in Ukraine is to drive Russian troops out of the country, with only nine percent disagreeing. Nearly 80 percent said that Ukraine should be given heavier weapons to do so.

Just over half of respondents said that Ukrainian membership in the EU and Nato should be fast-tracked.

Home emergency supplies more common in rural areas

The HS survey also inquired whether Finns are prepared for crisis situations with emergency home supplies, as recommended, for instance, by Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) in an interview with Yle on Saturday.

Finnish authorities recommend (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that everyone keep enough food, drinking water and needed medicines at home to last at least three days, as well as a flashlight and a radio, both with sufficient spare batteries. Last week Finland's health ministry recommended that households stock iodine tablets for residents aged 3-40 years old, in case of a radiation hazard emergency.

According to HS's survey, more than two-fifths of people in Finland have such supplies on hand at home. About one in ten said they had stocked up on such items since Russia attacked Ukraine, while others said they had been similarly prepared before.

Those with emergency home supplies were more like to be over age 50 and to live in rural areas.

Kantar Public carried out the study on behalf of Helsingin Sanomat via an internet panel on 12–14 October 2022. Just over 1,000 people took part, representing the adult population of mainland Finland. The pollster estimates the margin of error at about three percentage points.

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