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Transformations – Russia’s long century 1900–2008

The report, Transformations – Russia’s long century 1900–2008, published by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, describes Russia’s development and its impact on Finland. The report was written by Nils Torvalds, a long standing correspondent with the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE.

Published

The report, Transformations – Russia’s long century 1900–2008, published by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, describes Russia’s development and its impact on Finland. The report was written by Nils Torvalds, a long standing correspondent with the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE.

Russia is always in the news – whether for good and for bad. The decisions taken by Russia/the Soviet Union in both its domestic and foreign policy have always posed challenges, and still do, for Finland politically and economically. Our neighbour has also divided opinions in many ways. The country’s actions are always topical themes in debate in Finland.

– When we consider individual events in the history of Russia they seem to form one big conflict. Through short-sighted decisions, the country is driven into wars and revolutions. Action to solve the imagined or real problems is undertaken with great zeal, ending up in an even worse predicament. Senseless decisions create paths that make fulfilling the ideal of modernisation, which glimmers in the horizon, only more difficult, says Nils Torvalds.

– Viewed as a whole, however, a structure can be perceived in the history of Russia, which determines the country’s Europeanness or ‘nearly’ Europeanness. Russia has always been close on Europe’s heels. It has made the same choices and mistakes, but always in a slightly more extreme way. This creates a complicated structure that is difficult to piece together, which can only be recognised as a whole, says Torvalds.

The idea behind writing the report arose in courses organised by Sitra for decision-makers and journalists, whose common objective was to increase understanding on events in Russia. The presentations given by Torvalds, who lectured during the Moscow section of the courses, received positive feedback. The report that has now been completed is based on these lectures, but is considerably more comprehensive and detailed than them, providing a description that brings together the different threads of the last century in Russia.

Further information

Kari Tolvanen, Executive Vice President
Tel. +358 9 6189 9270, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Elina Kiiski, Communications Officer
Tel. +358 44 540 3367, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Publication details

Transformations – Russia’s long century 1900–2008
Nils Torvalds
Sitra Reports 78
ISBN 978-951-563-635-5 (paperback)
ISSN 1457-571X (paperback)
Helsinki: Sitra, 2008
Pdf document numbers
ISBN 978-951-563-636-2 (URL:http://www.sitra.fi)
ISSN 1457-5728 (URL:http://www.sitra.fi)

You can order the report from Sitra by calling +358 (9) 618 991, or sending an e-mail to: julkaisut@sitra.fi. The publication can also be downloaded in PDF format from the publications section of Sitra’s website (www.sitra.fi).