University of Oulu

Alenius, Kari (2021) Asylum seekers from Russia to Finland: a hybrid operation by chance? In Thadeus Eze, Lee Speakman, Cyril Onwubiko (eds.) Proceedings of the European conference on cyber warfare and security, Proceeding of the 20th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security ECCWS 2021, (pp. 11-17), Academic conferences international.

Asylum seekers from Russia to Finland : a hybrid operation by chance?

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Author: Alenius, Kari1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-22


This paper analyses interpretations made of the arrival of asylum seekers through Russia to Finland in the period from November 2015 to March 2016. Prior to that time, there were almost no asylum seekers at all from Russia to Finland, and their arrival ended just as abruptly in the spring 2016. The news published in Finland’s leading media during the above-mentioned period has been reviewed for the purposes of the study. Even as it was happening, different interpretations of the nature of the issue were presented in the media. The topic is important in three ways. First, the activities of the Finnish media in connection with this small-scale crisis have hardly been studied at all. It is therefore now possible to make a basic analysis of how Finnish media reacted to the surprising situation that had arisen on the border between Russia and Finland. Second, if it was a hybrid warfare operation, what Russia achieved through it should be evaluated. Third, the analysis can be used to assess the likelihood of a strong influx of refugees into the European Union via Russia. It is very well known that Russia, like other great powers, is interested in increasing its influence abroad. Russia is also ready to use a variety of means to achieve its goals. In particular, the conquest of Crimea and the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine in 2014 have shown that Russia does not shy away from aggressive operations that combine traditional military means with modern unconventional practices where necessary. However, it cannot be concluded that whenever Russia seems to be carrying out operations planned by state leadership, they really are such. Each case deserves a separate analysis.

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Series: Proceedings of the European conference on information warfare and security
ISSN: 2048-8602
ISSN-E: 2048-8629
ISSN-L: 2048-8602
ISBN: 978-1-912764-43-3
ISBN Print: 978-1-912764-99-0
Pages: 11 - 17
Host publication: Proceeding of the 20th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security ECCWS 2021
Host publication editor: Eze, Thadeus
Speakman, Lee
Onwubiko, Cyril
Conference: European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author.