Professor Kari Alenius: Russia seeks to russify the entire world
By invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia aimed to conquer the entire country, but the war has not unfolded according to Russia's plans. Consequently, any control over Ukrainian territory is interpreted as a victory in Russia.
"If Russia wins the war, it will receive confirmation that aggressive policies are effective, which encourages it to continue acting in the same way," says Kari Alenius.
In the Uniikkia Oulusta – Unique from Oulu science series on the University of Oulu's YouTube channel, Kari Alenius reflects on Russia and the Russian great power mentality from a historical perspective. The episode is titled "How Russia became Russia?”.
Alenius is knowledgeable about Russia's political development, the Russian great power mentality, propaganda, influence campaigns, perceptions related to nations and states, and the role of the media as an intermediary.
According to Alenius, Russia seeks to reclaim all territories that historically belonged to it, including Finland, and according to its state ideology, the entire world should become Russian. The latest idea among Russian nationalist circles is to reclaim Alaska, which belonged to Russia from the latter half of the 1700s until 1867 when it sold the territory to the United States.
"This is being seriously discussed in Russia. They view the agreement (regarding the sale of Alaska) as null and poorly formulated," says Alenius. He emphasizes that the Kremlin is detached from reality.
According to Alenius, Finland's membership in the NATO defense alliance is not a threat to Russia, but NATO is considered an unfortunate obstacle to Russia's ambitions in the West and elsewhere in the world. "Russia did notice how Finland gradually became NATO's 'secret lover' over the years, and Finland joining NATO does not change the objectives of the Russian army in any way."
Alenius is leading a four-year project on the portrayal of Russia and Ukraine in the Finnish media from 1991 to 2022.
Article on the University of Oulu's website: Professor: Russia's self-image as an undisputed empire does not appear to be changing
Uniikkia Oulusta – Unique from Oulu science series will release five episodes once a week until June. Future topics include women’s health, the DNA barcode of species and cybersecurity. The episodes can be viewed on the University of Oulu's YouTube channel. The series has already released an episode titled "Can eco-friendly concrete from Oulu save the world?"