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Russians in Finland

Russians in Finland
Русские в Финляндии
Suomen venäläiset
Total population
about 70,000 Russian-speaking (2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Helsinki, Eastern Finland, Southern Finland
Finnish, Russian
Finnish Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church
Related ethnic groups
Russian people, Jews in Finland, Finnish Tatars

Russians in Finland (or Russian Finns) constitute a linguistic and ethnic minority in Finland. About 30,000 people have citizenship of the Russian Federation,[2] and Russian is the mother language of about 70,000 people in Finland,[1] which represents about 1.3% of the population.

Russians citizens who moved before the Second World War are called "Old Russians". The next immigration wave happened after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, as Ingrian Finns remigrated to Finland. At present, marriage and family ties are two other common reasons for Russians to immigrate Finland.[3]


  • History 1
  • Population 2
  • Culture 3
  • Manifestations of intolerance 4
  • References 5


The first migratory wave of Russians began in the early 18th century, when Finland was part of Swedish Empire.[3] To the Grand Duchy of Finland moved about 40,000 Russian soldiers, civilian workers, and about 600 businessmen . When Finland became independent, many soldiers left the country to return home. Many businessman stayed, including the Sinebrychoff family. During the Russian Revolution many aristocrats and officers fled to Finland as refugees. The biggest refugee wave was in 1922 when about 33,500 persons came to Finland. Many of them had Nansen passports for many years. During the Kronstadt Rebellion about 1,600 officers fled to Finland. Russian citizens who moved in these three waves are called "Old Russians", whose 3,000–5,000 descendants live in Finland today.[3]

A second major wave of immigration occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union. Many Russian guest workers came to Finland, working in low-paying jobs. In the 1990s, immigration to Finland grew, and a Russian-speaking population descended from Ingrian Finns immigrated to Finland. In the 2000s, many nouveaux riches Russians have bought estates in Eastern Finland.


Table 1: Russian-speaking people in 2008[4]
City People Increase in 2000–08
Helsinki 12,470 54.8%
Vantaa 3,958 138.3%
Espoo 3,029 95.0%
Turku 2,495 38.8%
Tampere 2,121 74.9%
Lahti 1,787 50.7%
Lappeenranta 1,711 62.2%
Number of Russophones in some Finnish cities in 2008.

According to Russian Embassy in Finland, there are about 50,000 Russian-speaking people in Finland.[5] However in 2008 study of Aleksanteri Institute, calculated 45,000 Russian-speaking people.[6] According to Statistics Finland, there were 70,899 Russian-speaking people in 2012.[1] However half of Russian-speaking immigrants are Ingrian Finns and other Finno-Ugric people.[7] In 2012, there were 30,183 people with citizenship of the Russian Federation[1]dual citizens included. Furthermore there are people who have received only Finnish citizenship, and Estonian Russians. Two common reasons for immigration were marriage, and descendant from Ingrian Finns.[8]


Russian language newspaper Spektr was founded in 1998, and radio channel Radio Sputnik (Russkoje Radio Helsinki) broadcasts in the Russian language. Many small Russian Orthodox Churchs have been founded in Finland.

Manifestations of intolerance

In 2007 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance reported in its Third report on Finland [1]:


  1. ^ a b c d Tilastokeskus: Lähes joka kymmenes 25–34-vuotias ulkomaista syntyperää 6 November (in Finnish)
  2. ^ Tilastokeskus: Ulkomaiden kansalaiset (Statistics Finland: Foreign Citizenship) in Finnish, 2008
  3. ^ a b c Socmag: Russian Immigrants in Finnish Society 18 November 2007
  4. ^ Tilastokeskus: Suomessa jo 50 000 venäjänkielistä 8 September 2009 (in Finnish)
  5. ^ Venäjä esittää Suomen venäläisille virallista asemaa in Finnish
  6. ^ Veronica Shenshin: VENÄLÄISET JA VENÄLÄINEN KULTTUURI SUOMESSA Helsingin yliopisto, Aleksanteri-instituutti (2008) (in Finnish)
  7. ^
  8. ^ Turun kulttuurikeskus in Finnish
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