Russia is spreading disinformation that the Finnish economy is “collapsing” due to sanctions against Russia and NATO membership. Instead, the inflation rate in Finland was 7.9% as of March 2023 and continues to decline. The “Finnish journalist” Kosti Heiskanen, cited by Russian media, cannot be considered a reliable source – he works for the Kremlin.
Photo: Lehtikuva/Antti Hamalainen via REUTERS
The Russian media spread a fake claim that “the Finnish economy has been destroyed” as a result of Finland’s accession to NATO and the government’s implementation of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. The pro-Kremlin media, citing “Finnish journalist” Kosti Heiskanen, claim that prices in Finland have risen by 40% and “continue to rise.”
This was reported by the StopFake project.
“The Finnish government was one of the first to support sanctions against Russia. And then the country joined NATO on an accelerated basis. Russia immediately warned its neighbors that this would not lead to anything good… This immediately affected food prices in Finland. Prices rose by 20-40% and continue to rise. The Finnish media are already writing that the Finnish economy has begun to collapse,” Russian media claim.
The “Finnish journalist” Kosti Heiskanen cited by the Russian media cannot be considered a reliable source of information. Heiskanen is a Russian-born propagandist who is constantly used by Russian media and has no relation to Finnish journalism. Heiskanen, staying in Russia, promotes anti-Western narratives to the Russian audience under the disguise of an “international journalist”. He advocates Russian aggression in Ukraine, criticizes Finland’s accession to NATO, talks about “Russophobia” in democratic countries, and his opinions are completely in line with the Kremlin’s propaganda guidelines.
An investigation by Finland’s largest newspaper, Ilta-Sanomat, regarding the identity of Russian propagandist Heiskanen, notes that Russia effectively uses the image of a fake “journalist from Finland” to spread propaganda.
“Kosti Heiskanen’s name may not mean anything to Finnish readers, but during the war in Ukraine, he appeared in Russian news headlines every week. Heiskanen … is valuable to the Russian media precisely because he can always be called a Finn at every turn. For many Russians, “Finnish” is synonymous with reliability and quality, which creates an effective illusion of trust in propaganda,” the Ilta-Sanomat investigation says.
That is why Kosti Heiskanen’s data should not be trusted, as he works in favor of the Russian propaganda machine. In addition, according to official statistics, the inflation rate in Finland as of March 2023 was 7.9% and continues to decline. It is noted that the annual inflation rate in Finland in 2022 rose to 8.8% due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but now the rate of decline is slowing down significantly.