Can you describe the main goal of the Finno-Ugric Soldiers?
We are a project based on „Suuri Suku” (Big Family). It means a project based on biological traits as the main or primary part and the socio-cultural ones as secondary traits. For many years, the Russian Empire turned indigenous peoples into Russians through cultural assimilation, genocide, and persecution.
The SOFIN case is widely known; it was when the Finno-Ugric intelligentsia was shot dead. Many suffered from these repressions, like my family who ran away from Russia, but later returned. Today we have a chance to reclaim what is rightfully ours and for this task, we have the necessary tools and understanding of processes.
The way we see it, most attention should be given to 3 main points:
- Revival of self-awareness on the basis of the Finno-Ugric identity;
- Creation of an independent intellectual elite – the Finno-Ugric intelligentsia;
- Formation of cultural and socio-economic ties with the peoples of the Finno-Ugric group.
The main goal is the achievement of historical justice through reclamation of territories which were russified back to Finno-ugric peoples, and derussification of these peoples. We want to make them free again.
The rebirth should go through the self-identity peoples which were assimilated many years ago and through the returning to the native cultures (not to be confused with the rejection of technology).
And we have an brilliant example of ethnical revival. This example is the Merja people. This ethnicity was considered dead for several hundred years but in the latest population census they amounted to 109 individuals. This ethnicity has become a flagship project of the Finno-Ugric identity. They give hope to all of us, showing that an ethnos can be restored.
The tasks which were included are major:
P1. Revival of the Finno-Ugric identity.
The base for the identity of any ethnical or national group is the basis of understanding the concept of „us and them”. As we try to understand who can be our friend or who can be our brother we try to find the same traits which we have. For example, I know my what my face looks like, what faces of my family look like and I never identify people with other traits as part of my family. Those are the biological main traits, this is what was given to us genetically. This is the highest level.
The secondary level of identity is the cultural level. For example, international clothing today consists of jeans and t-shirts. From the USA to China and Africa, people wear these clothes. However, had you been born in Poland, you wouldn’t identify with Chinese people simply because they wear the same jeans and T-shirts as you do. But you can speak fluently together if you share a language or you will be much more friendly with people who have the same religion as you.
P2. Creation of institutions that increase the general biological, cultural and historical literacy of the population.
We should create a base for the rebirth of our identity and this base should consist of academic people who could provide general ideas to each other. For example, we have an intellectual block of researchers, who communicate together on inter-Finno-ugric themes. This block was created as a recreation of a block from 100 years ago (Akateeminen Karjala-Seura). Our Estonian brothers had an analogous structure which were able to pull out their independence from Red hands of communists.
Also, we have the Cultural block and the Force block. The Force block consists of forces inside Russia and outside of Russia. Outside of Russia, the Force block fights against neo-Reds on the Ukrainian side. It is called Karjalan Kansallinen Pataljoona (Karelian National Batallion into the Russian Volunteer Corps and Forces of Ukraine). The Force block is like our hands, with which we will struggle to create our independence.
P3. Cultural and economic interaction
We have been opressed by Russia for many centuries. But before the Russian intruders, we lived in abundance, had industries, metals, culture and so on. But after Russian tsars arrived, they, for example, prohibited the Finno-Ugric peoples from mining metal, because the Finno-Ugric peoples made weapons from it and could fight back. Today, we have examples of how we can live after 30 years of independence and need to learn from the experience of Finland, Estonia and other European countries. We should refresh our relations and connections and gain wisdom from our fraternal nations who declared independence and after 30 years now live in abundance, as is the case with Estonia, for example.
If we understand correctly, your movement calls for the establishment of a Greater Finland, which would have territorial claims to e.g. Norway. At the same time you call for the establishment of an alliance with Scandinavian countries. Can you explain this contradiction?
Of course. This means we have some examples of Finno-Ugric peoples who do not have their own territories and coexist harmoniously with Scandinavian cultures. They have their own autonomies, representation in parliament, and their voices are heard in the country. In Russia, it’s an entirely different story. Finno-Ugric peoples cannot be heard by Russian citizens or governments; it’s virtually impossible.
For example, in Finland, there is a sizable Swedish-speaking community, while in Sweden, there is a significant Finnish community known as „Menämaa.”
Scandinavian peoples arrived in these lands after the Finno-Ugric peoples (the first Saami tribes). Approximately 6,000 years later, the Indo-European Germanic tribes, known today as Norwegian and Swedish peoples, arrived to these territories. Now we live together as good friends. Today we have no territorial issues with European countries, we are a peaceful people. We need only the territory of our motherlands which has been occupied. We need our lands which are day by day gradually destroyed by Russians. We need it for protect our language and culture. Without our territories we cannot survive as a nation or ethnicity.
Your movement first attempts to awaken the identities of the Finno-Ugric peoples living in Russia, while the long-term goal is to establish ties with other Finno-Ugric people, such as Hungarians. At the same time, some Hungarian movements which could be described as traditional/right-wing/pro-European (such as old Jobbik, or in some instances Fidesz) believe they are closer to Turan traditions, of Turkic peoples. How could you overcome these challenges to achieving a pan Finno-Ugric world? Does the distance of these nations also pose a challenge (there many nations separating Hungary from Finland or Finnic peoples such as the Mari and Udmurt)?
Yes, it’s a significant problem. This problem continues to be relevant, especially when we observe other Finno-Ugric peoples facing extinction due to assimilation and appearing to be on the verge of cultural demise. Of course, the Ugric (Hungarian) community acknowledges this trend and attempts to seek allies along their borders. As a consequence, they may sometimes compromise their Ugric identity in pursuit of geopolitical objectives.
As for the distance, now it is not a huge problems because we have the Internet and scientists’ conferences on Finno-ugric peoples. But the main problem is the Kremlin’s pressure. The Kremlin bought the national elite of many of them and we cannot communicate because of the spread of ideas of neo-communists from Russia’s government.
Which, in your opinion, are the most important elements to begin the revival of Finno-Ugric peoples? History? Language? Where do you begin and what are the steps that you would take to revive these?
Our self-identification can revive our identity through several markers. In traditional ethnographic issues there are several main points:
In our vision all these concepts should be based on the concept of blood – this is the basis of self-identity. It means that we should primarily acknowledge ourselves through traditional science: anthropology and genetics. With this, you can identify yourself.
Today the international community used a language as a main point of our identity but honestly, when you look at yourself in a mirror – could you associate yourself with other races or peoples of another ethnical group? Of course not… Of course I am not talking about pathological syndrome and psychological imbalances of which there are too many in modern Europe.
As I see it, we need to educate simple people. It should be like a course of primary literacy.
Right now, we can use media sources of rightwing publicists, we can communicate all together and exchange the main thoughts. As a real sector, we have our Academical wing, which confirm our concept of Finno-Ugric brotherhood and territorial succession. In the second step, we need to create basic school programs based on biological literacy. Of course, at same time we should provide these main concepts: 1.1 Culture 1.2 Religion 2. Language 3. Self-identity. Quite simple scientific answers can be given to difficult questions for a politically correct community.
Many territories which are inhabited now by the Finno-Ugric peoples are also inhabited by Slavs, especially Russians, who dominate these territories by numbers. How do you think this obstacle could be overcome? Do you think a peaceful separation is possible?
In our vision it is an incorrect view. I mean generally it is not true, because Protorussians who came from the south in the 9th century had no residual population to assimilate. They had a potential aggressive strategy against neighbors and after dealing with neighbouring proto-countries they integrated their religion into these neighbouring proto-countries. The integration has been distorted by going through several books which were written later and today all of this consists of historical myths and inconsistencies, which modern historians cannot put together.
As we see, many among Russiana are, in fact, culturally assimilated Finno-Ugric peoples and we hope we can derussify them. As I said before, it was only a cultural assimilation, not a biological one, and we can recreate our peoples.
As for a peaceful separation: I would like a peaceful secession, but Russia is an empire, and empires are not allowed to concede anything so easily. Watching the history of the Russian Federation, we have repeatedly observed just that. Therefore, we are preparing for the worst-case scenario – a violent confrontation. As we can see, with our independence, the revival of precisely the traditional White revanchism can begin. Thus, we can become the vanguard of the resistance to globalism.
By your estimation, how many of the peoples listed as being Karelians, Ingrians, Udmurts, Veps etc are ethnically Finno-Ugric? Are there many of them that have been russified over the centuries? Are there many Russians who identify themselves as Finno-Ugric peoples or can speak the language?
I partly answered this question earlier. I have no real statistic, because in Russia statistics are a political instrument. As we know, they have never asked questions about the nationality of ordinary people – where did these statistics come from?
According to official statistics in Russia, the population of the Finno-Ugric people gets halved every 10 years. Given the total number of Finno-Ugric people in Russia (4-5 million) and the present reduction, it can be assumed that the Russified Finno-Ugric people, who today call themselves Russians, are at least 40-50%.
As for now, however, for the last 10 years (since the earliest stage of the war in Ukraine) the tendency has been changing. People do not want to be a Russian and try to rediscover their roots, see their family tree and so on. Since 10 years ago, the trend of people not wanting to be a Russian has tripled (from 3% to 9% of the total population of Russia). But many of them cannot find their roots because their families were assimilated by the Russian culture a long time ago, or because the cannot find the right archives or books.
Since the population of Finno-Ugric peoples/speakers is quite small, how realistic do you think it is that people living in this republics could separate from Russia? How would it work geopolitically since many of them don’t border each other and may cut off other parts of the Russian Federation. How would the Russian majorities within Finno-Ugric Republics and Russia think about losing what they feel is their land? Is there any easy way to mitigate this?
It is absolutely a realistic scenario, because many people are absolutely not interested in politics and they just want to live in a normal environment with a normal salary. Many of them want to live apart from the colonial Muscovia, but are afraid to look ahead – it is true. The sight of European well-being will be a great example to these people. According to our map, the secession will look like you can see in the picture. It looks like a monolithic construction. Geopolitically, it should be a confederated structure, based on its Finno-Ugric core. A basic statistic shows us this official data (2010/2021):
Karelian 60800/32400, Vepsian 5900/4500, Ingrians 20000/570?
Among different Finno-Ugric peoples (Karelians, Veps, Ingrians etc.), which ones currently have the strongest Finno-Ugric identity, and which the least? What has helped them to keep their identities?
These Balto-Finnish peoples lived under a cultural occupation for hundreds of years. Right now, all of the peoples living in the Russian culture have no Vepsjan, Karjalan or other native schools and are given no place for ethnic culture. There are several Vepsjan or Karelian houses (Karjalan kodi) but this is not enough to mainten culture. Therefore, assimilation occurs approximately the same.
Karelians, Veps, against all odds, they still exist. Basically, the larger the population, the stronger the identity, because people can communicate in their native language in their native environment. But they survived only because they lived in the countryside, away from the multicultural big cities. Today, people try to leave the villages to earn money and never return. There are fewer and fewer young people living in rural areas.
On the other hand, there are Ingrians. Many of them had a chance to be repatriated to Finland. After the Winter war many of them had no chance to go back to native villages because Reds (communists) forbade that. Many had to change their surnames in order to look like Russians and not get into the Gulag just on the basis of their nationality. Many Karelians, Vepsians and Izhorians share a similar history. Our native grounds, villages and cities were settled by alien peoples from the south. It was a major plan of the communist party – to assimilate and mix. These mixed people were renamed as Russians. If you ask a modern Russian about their ancestors, 90% of them will not know more than two past generations – no further than their grandparents. And this is not an exaggeration!
Moksha National Committee (MNC) has presented a plan for the Finno-Ugric peoples in the case of the collapse of the Russian state. Can you tell us more about this plan?
Suur-Suomen Sotilaat is an ideological organisation and it consists of Finno-Ugric movements. The core is a council of Finno-Ugric peoples. All independent national forces have an individual voice and movement.
One of these branches is an independent movement of Moksha. This way, the Moksha National Committee (MNC), as a part of the SSS project, has an interesting concept and no one can describe it better than the MNC Chairman, Donisi.
The Moksha National Committee has something to be proud of, despite the Russification of a large part of the Mokshas, the self-awareness is rising and the mentality of subjects has been gradually disappearing among new generations.
Our language has been written since the time of the Khazar Khaganate, and history itself calls to us with the voices of the participants of the battle of Sernya, the Teryushev and Tambov rebellions, to stop being afraid of the oppressors and those who, on behalf of the Mokshas, govern Mordovia at the behest the of Moscow’s Kremlin. We need to define ourselves and no longer humiliate ourselves by artificially hiding our Mokshan identity behind “Russianess”.
We have before our eyes a vivid example of related Finno-Ugric peoples of Europe: Finns, Estonians and Hungarians, who were able not only to preserve their uniqueness, but also to use it as an advantage.
Each of them has achieved the transformation of their Motherland into one of the developed and democratic countries, and today they are successfully working not for Moscow, but for their own futures.
Perhaps, given the fact that we live in the age of new technologies, we will be able to repeat their path of thorns many times faster.
We, who are here abroad, are ready to help you in any way we can. It is our common task to bring order to our common home for future generations. After all, we all need to realize that nothing and noone will stop an idea whose time has come. Separately, we want to turn to our tribal brethren in the Finno-Ugric movement.
Our nation endured for a long time, channelled and pragmatically adapted to the conditions brought by the colonial regime. There is not a single reason anymore to remain indifferent to events far to the west of Mokshania (Mokšeń Mastor) – in Ukraine and Europe. We will be glad not only to receive words of support, but also proposals for concrete actions.
It is in our hands to change the future together and prevent the indigenous Finno-Ugric peoples from falling asleep with eternal dreams under the Russian blanket of unrestrained tyranny, alien to all of us.
Today, all the factors necessary for Russia’s collapse are present. Every single one, allow me to list them:
a) a different level of life in the regions (they are also subjects of the federation);
b) the imposition of the Moscow dictate by the region;
c) the inability to choose their own candidates and to be elected themselves;
d) interethnic differences and interests;
e) interreligious conflicts;
f) Moscow’s intolerance towards minorities, even within its own society.
And all of the above is due to Moscow’s authoritarian policies ongoing for many years! This time no one will nor will be able to rebuild the empire. The army is almost defeated, and no one wants to miss the opportunity to live separately, even in the Russian regions, not to mention the national republics. Yet another reason that the Russian state is a semi-corpse that suffers in the agony of its cruelty and immorality.
This is a rogue state, but unlike many dictatorships, in the Russian Federation the dictatorship is imperial, which rests on the strength of Moscow, Putin and his inner circle. But considering what kind of clan and inter-structural clashes today, we’ll see the inability of the structures of the state to coordinate the activities of the state.
In addition, decolonization gives new countries a great incentive and motivation for development, enrichment, a new path to democratic freedom. And for already existing countries, security and new trading partners who will not be blackmailed with a threat of stopping the export of grain, oil and other necessary things…
So, to be honest, today even international laws are with us!
The main task is to convince people in other countries that we are right, based on facts, figures, history and prospects.
In any case, success will be ours and we will achieve our goal.
As it is unknown when or if ever the Russian Federation would collapse, are there any plans of Finno-Ugric peoples to preserve their identities within it by creating parallel societies (self-sufficient villages etc.)?
For plan B, we only have the preservation of the language and culture and plans to support ethnic ecovillages. But the efforts that Russia is making prove that we cannot rely on a back-up plan – we simply do not stand a chance.
Does Russia actively try to uproot the identities of Finno-Ugric peoples? If yes, what are the actions they take to achieve it? How do you defend yourselves from it?
We have no chance fighting against the culture and economic system playing by their rules.
The government has removed the native languages of indigenous peoples of Russia from the list of mandatory subjects. Now, native languages are optional. All official documentation is conducted in Russian, almost all signs are in Russian only, and in history, Finno-Ugric peoples are only mentioned as barbarians. Maybe you have heard about the self-immolation of an Udmurt scientist Albert Razin as a protest against the laws of the transfer of native languages to the rank of optional.
This is the situation in Russia today.
What do we do?
We campaign through social networks and hold ethno-cultural events. We use social sources such as social networks, our social groups, video channels and hold events and have several inter-Finno-Ugric projects. But, of course, that is not enough.
Within the government of the Russian Federation in the past two decades, there has been a noticible trend of trying to to gain the loyalty of Russia’s many minority groups (the Chechens and the Tatars come to mind). Has the Kremlin also made such an effort with any of the Finno-Ugric peoples? If it has not, why?
Of course not. Chechens have strong „passions”. They live within a tribal social system. This is an absolutely different type of a community and their social connections are much closer than in multicultural systems. We are trying to create something similar to that because we base our concept on the principles of biology.
We are based on the concept of a common Finno-Ugric proto-ancestor. But today’s Russia is a fragmented society that is held together only by the ideology of shared victories (World War II, space flight, communism etc.).
The Kremlin has no reason to negotiate with the peaceful society – the Finno-Ugric peoples have a European mentality, just like the Baltic-Finnic peoples. Russians only negotiate with those who speak their language – the language of force (let’s remember the two Chechen wars).
There are stories of the Russian state oppressing Finno-Ugric identitarian movements, e.g. by closing your online forums, or even imprisoning 3 of your members for 25 years. Can you tell us more about the causes and consequences of these discriminatory actions?
The guys who were imprisoned are part of the Force block. Today we want to speak of it no more because all info about it can cause trouble to them and to other members who are still in Russia.
The regime wants to live, but it is dying …and to prolong its existence, it needs to kill more. If it stopped, it would die. We understand it – it is like an agony. Russia is dying.
Vapaa Kotimaa – Free Finno-Ugria was blocked in last days of December 2022, recently the Karelian national battalion was blocked. Of course, we will not stop. More and more people are joining us, the movement is growing and everything is heading towards a denouement.
How similar are the different Finno-Ugric peoples to one another? Are all of the languages similar to one another/mutually intelligible or are they quite different? In the event of creating some form of Finno-Ugric confederation, what kind of problems may arrive from differences in language and culture between your peoples?
All Finnougric peoples have a common trait – the Lapponoid component. Lapponoid is the oldest proto-race, which was born when the Proto-White race and the Proto-Yellow race split. The other traits which can go together – paleolithic robust traits (inherited from other peoples, the first inhabitants of Eurasia).
The degree of this component varies among different peoples.
The languages differences are similar to those between Indo-European languages. It depends on several factors, such as the time of departure from the Proto-Uralic core; territory (the proximity of territories and whether the peoples in question live closely to one another or are isolated); the influence of other peoples (culture, conquest, etc.). For example, the Balto-Finnish language remains very close and Karelian peoples can understand Finnish without a translator. In terms of understanding, they are closer than Ukrainian is to the Russian language.
As for the language program of Finno-Ugric confederation, we are planning to have a cultural and linguistic independence within countries. As the instrument of inter-Finno-Ugric communication, we want to use Finnish. For example – today we use English as the main international language, but we have our national language.
Religion is one of the most important aspects of life. It is our guidebook and compass. Many of the Finno-Ugric peoples/populations practice different religions (Finns – Lutheranism, Hungarians – Catholicism and Calvanism, Karelians, Mari, Vepsians, Ingrians practise Russian Orthodoxy). How could such a problem be solved? Should one of these denominations of Christianity be chosen to represent the Finno-Ugric peoples? Would a return to paganism be possible/desirable? Or would a policy of religious tolerance amongst the Finno-Ugric peoples be the best idea?
The modern man in Russia is not interested in religion. Most of the population is not interested in religion or are non-practising Christians. Religion is an important part of our vision and processes which we are able to interpret. Religion as a culture this aspect of live must be changeable. Christianity is not base culture of Finno-ugric peoples – it is a part of the southern world. We need to support our native religion which stays right now and create a new religion, which based on our native gods and corresponds to the modern understanding of the environment. We have a concept of this new religion. New god is coming soon! Of course, there will not be a sharp refusal either with language or with religion – this is a long process that will stretch over several generations – we understand this.
Would you consider Uralic peoples as being Finno-Ugric, such as the Nenets, Selkup, and Sámi? Are they similar enough to be part of your movement?
Saami are a type of Nords, many of them are similar in appearance to other Swedes or Norwegians. We have a Saami branch – they look like the purest Scandinavians (the Nordic people). The avantgarde of the movement are White Finno-Ugric peoples (like the Balto-Finnish peoples), but we understand we need to create a buffer zone against the expansion of Asians. I think the Uralic peoples can create this buffer zone like a national park. We have an Academical section for these questions. Scientists should make more correct conclusions about it.