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Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities
Moscow Speaks report sheds light on Russia’s strategic communications

Government analysis, assessment and research activitiesMinistry of Defence 4.5.2020 9.01
Press release 305/2020

On 4 May, a report on the special features of Russia’s strategic communications entitled Govorit Moskva – Moscow Speaks will be published in the publication series of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities. The aim of the study is to increase understanding of Russia’s strategic communications and shed light on their background and related phenomena.

The report places particular emphasis on the ways of thinking and communications of Russia’s senior state leadership. At the same time, it describes modern Russia and provides background on the normative, historical, societal, cultural and international policy bases for Russia’s strategic communications.

The study differs from many studies produced in the West in that it is largely based on primary sources written in Russian. It also includes interviews with Russian authorities, experts and high-level decision-makers.

Finland must become more familiar with Russian strategic thinking and its manifestations

States are in a constant struggle for influencing power and to communicate stories aimed at influencing the thinking and activities of other states. This report provides guidance on a multifaceted theme and recommends, among other things, becoming better acquainted with Russia’s official arguments, documents and material. According to the report, St Petersburg should be taken into account more strongly in Finland’s strategic thinking and, in addition, the resources for foreign reporting by the Finnish media should be significantly increased.

Russia’s strategic message is now well-established – Finland is no longer seen as an important target

In Putin’s Russia narrative, Russia views itself as a superpower that is disappointed in the rules-based international order. The study finds that Russia’s strategic message has remained almost unchanged since Putin’s speech in Munich in 2007. The experience of being insulted and deceived plays a very central role in the Russian way of thinking.  This is reflected in Russia’s strategic messaging with its very strong emphasis on sovereignty, integrity and, above all, independent and free decision-making.

As far as Finland is concerned, Russia’s strategic thinking has changed significantly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Finland is an EU Member State, a democratic state governed by the rule of law, and a good neighbour. Russia does not view Finland as a powerful EU Member State. Therefore, Finland is not an important European target of special interest in Russia’s strategic communications, it is simply regarded as a good neighbour.

The Principal Investigator of the study was Rear Admiral (ret.) Georgij Alafuzoff and its other authors are Doctor of Social Sciences Anders Blom, Master of Social Sciences Mihail Kurvinen, Professor Vilma Luoma-aho, Brigadier General (ret.) Juha Pyykönen and Professor Katerina Tsetsura. The project consortium was made up of Eurofacts Oy, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, the University of Jyväskylä and Security Analysis Oy.

The report is part of the implementation of the 2019 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research.


Rear Admiral (ret.) Georgij Alafuzoff, +358 45 2756997, georgij.[email protected]
Doctor of Social Sciences Anders Blom, Eurofacts Oy, +358 400 523409, [email protected]
Brigadier General (ret.) Juha Pyykönen, Managing Director, Security Analysis Oy, +358 400 918191, [email protected]
Professor Vilma Luoma-aho, University of Jyväskylä, +358 40 8053098, [email protected]

The Government’s joint analysis, assessment and research activities (VN TEAS) produce data used to support decision-making, everyday operations and knowledge-based management. They are guided by the Government’s annual plan for analysis, assessment and research. The content of the reports published in the publication series of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities is the responsibility of the producers of the data in question and does not necessarily represent the view of the Government.

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