Home Russian

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A "kotiryssä" (literally ‘Home Russian’) was a Soviet or Russian contact person of a politician, bureaucrat, businessman or other important person in Finland. The term kotiryssä referred especially to Soviet spies stationed in Helsinki in the 1960s and 1970s who were designated by the Soviet government to gather information from specific persons in Finnish politics and government. As such information gathering techniques have arguably always been prevalent among spies, some Finns have argued that the kotiryssä system was a normal way to conduct diplomatic relations between two countries.[1] The dozens of KGB officers working out of the Tehtaankatu embassy of the Soviet Union is now well documented.[2] The public did not know about the system until the book Tamminiemen pesänjakajat was published in 1981.[3] The kotiryssä system was closely related to Finlandization.

In 2015 Helsingin Sanomat wrote that the Home Russian practise had all but ceased to exist. The Russian diplomatic corps in Helsinki no longer maintains contacts with the Finnish politicians and journalists.[4]



  1. ^ Iltalehden Historia-liite "Suomettuminen," 2015, s. 26-27
  2. ^ a b c Who remembers 2nd Secretary Ivanov? The Russian First Deputy Prime Minister spent six years in Helsinki in the 1980s Helsingin Sanomat 1.4.2007
  3. ^ Political Cultures in Urho Kekkonen’s Finland and János Kádár’s Hungary Heino Nyyssönen
  4. ^ "Minne katosivat kotiryssät?" [‘Where did the Home Russians disappear?’]. Helsingin Sanomat. Helsinki: Sanoma. 2015-10-31. p. C 13. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  5. ^ Russian diplomat in Helsinki served as head of KGB assassination section Helsingin Sanomat 11.9.2009
  6. ^ UKK tiesi Vladimirovin murhataustan Iltasanomat 31.08.2009
  7. ^ Mauno Koivisto: Witness to history: the memoirs of Mauno Koisvisto president of Finland p. 13
  8. ^ Vladimir Stepanov: KGB man and friend of Kekkonen

See also[edit]