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How to conceptualise Russia

The seminar “How to conceptualise Russia” was organised by Fenno-Ugria in Maarjamäe Castle in Tallinn on 31 May. The seminar was supported by the Open Estonia Foundation/Active Citizens Fund and it took place within the framework of the project “Democracy School for Finno-Ugric communities in Estonia”.

Political analyst Kadri Liik talked about why Russia started a war against Ukraine, intelligence expert Ivo Juurvee offered an insight into the relations between the special forces of Russia and the state through the ages, and Fenno-Ugria’s adviser Jaak Prozes spoke about the Finno-Ugric communities in Russia according to the latest census, as well as the activities of Russia’s Finno-Ugric organisations.

Finno-Ugric cooperation towards Russia has stalled due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, yet many members of Estonian Finno-Ugric communities have families and acquaintances on the other side of the border, as well as Russian citizenship.

Fenno-Ugria has condemned the war with the board’s decision on 15.03.2022, and there is no cooperation with Finno-Ugric organisations supporting the war in Russia.

What do the events taking place in Russia mean for the Estonian Finno-Ugric communities, how to understand and adapt to the new political reality on a personal level: the situation is confusing and there is a lot of uncertainty. Based on this, in April 2023, Fenno-Ugria started the “Democracy School for Estonian Finno-Ugric Communities” project with a focus on political and media literacy, which will last until the spring of next year. The seminar on Russia is the second event of the project, the seminar “Coping with crises and trauma in Finno-Ugric cultures” took place in the Tapa Cultural Centre on 13 May.

Kadri Liik
Political analyst Kadri Liik. Photo: Barbi Pilvre.