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Wednesday's papers: Russian travel damper, Sanna Marin's appeal and heatwave thunder

Is Finland's millennial prime minister the "coolest" leader in Europe?

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Finland's decision to significantly reduce the number of tourist visas granted to Russian citizens has been met with confusion on the streets of St Petersburg, according to Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Residents in the city told the Swedish-language daily that they had a difficult time understanding why the war in Ukraine was restricting civilians' ability to travel.

HBL met up with a middle class St Petersburg family who said they believed Finland’s new restrictions were "illogical."

"We used to travel all the time. I can't even count how many countries I've visited. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway…and Finland of course," Olga Romanova told HBL.

Media sexism?

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin is meanwhile the "world's coolest politician," Iltalehti reports, quoting Germany's Bild (siirryt toiseen palveluun) newspaper.

"Finland's premier is relaxed, modern and confident," Bild said.

Since taking office, Marin's physical appearance has drawn media attention, with Bild following on this trend when describing an image the premier posted on Instagram this past weekend from Helsinki's Flow music festival.

"There you see a female government leader taking her country into Nato in a sexy glitter dress, black boots and large sunglasses," Bild explained, adding that her dress was a flea market find.

Wet weather arrives

Thunderstorms will pound Finland on Wednesday after days of tropical temperatures, according to Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) forecaster Anni Häkkinen told HS that the country can expect thunderstorms as Wednesday evening approaches.

Some western parts will see local thunderstorms earlier in the day.

Weather warnings are in force in western and northern areas, which can expect heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning.

"Wednesday will be the worst. Thursday will mostly see local thunderstorms," she explained, adding that some urban areas risk flooding.

On Tuesday the northern city of Oulu flooded after 40 millimeters of rain fell in one hour. Cities are at risk of flooding when rainfall exceeds 20 millimeters an hour.