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APN podcast: How is Finland welcoming Ukrainians?

All Points North explores what Finland is doing to help the thousands of Ukrainians who are seeking sanctuary in the country. 

A Ukrainian child at a reception centre in Espoo, featuring the All Points North podcast logo. Image: Matti Myller / Yle

This week's All Points North podcast asks how Finnish authorities are planning to help Ukrainian people settle into life in Finland as they seek sanctuary from the war in their home country.

"This is a European war. So while helping Ukrainians, for example here in Finland, Finns help themselves," Nataliya Teramae of the Ukrainian Association in Finland told APN.

So far, around 10,000 Ukrainians have registered with the Finnish Immigration Service Migri since the outbreak of war one month ago, with the agency estimating that up to 80,000 people could arrive in Finland.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Apple Podcasts (siirryt toiseen palveluun) or wherever you get your podcasts.

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APN also hears from Jari Kähkönen, Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), who said in addition to the 10,000 Ukrainians that registered with the authority, there could be a similar number already in the country.

"I would encourage them to register themselves to the authorities. Temporary protection gives them quite a good status here in Finland and then they are on our radar," he said. "It would be a guarantee for them that somebody is looking after them no matter what happens."

Are you happy?

Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world once again — for the fifth consecutive time — in the UN's latest World Happiness Report (siirryt toiseen palveluun), so APN took a trip down to the nearest market square ('tori' in Finnish) to see how Finns were reacting to the news.

But instead of discovering scenes of wild celebration, as is generally the case when Finland tastes international success, we found plenty of scepticism in the springtime air.

"Maybe it's the happiest country for some people but not for all. I think about minorities and people who don't have the same rights as the majority of Finnish people, and for them this is not the happiest country," one Tampere resident told APN.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Ronan Browne and Zena Iovino, produced by Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Tuomas Vauhkonen.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.