Outraged Kremlin demands Finland punish ‘extremists’ who burned Russian flags
A spat between Finland and Russia has escalated after Moscow demanded that Helsinki punish the “extremists” who burned a Russian flag while celebrating Finnish Independence Day.
By Oli Smith
11:33, Sun, Dec 11, 2022 | UPDATED: 11:33, Sun, Dec 11, 2022
Finnish burn the Russian flag during Independence Day celebration
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Russia has demanded Finland act after a video emerged of people burning the Russian flag in the middle of Helsinki. The flag-burning took place on Finnish Independence Day earlier this week in front of a huge crowd. In the video, two men can be seen holding the flag, while two others hold torches to it.
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Over the course of the video, other people can be seen approaching the burning flag and adding more flames to the fire.
Chants against Russia and in support of Ukraine can also be heard throughout the clip, which drew outrage in Russia.
Police were also present at the burning and ordered those involved to stop, but they did not move to arrest anyone.
The authorities of the Finnish capital said that the celebration passed “without serious disturbances”.
A video emerged of people burning the Russian flag in the middle of Helsinki (Image: TWITTER)
Other people can be seen approaching the burning flag and adding more flames to the fire (Image: TWITTER)
The incident took place on Tuesday during mass marches celebrating the country’s independence.
The national public holiday marks Finland’s declaration of independence from the Russian Empire when the Bolsheviks took power in late 1917.
According to the officials, several thousand people took part in the demonstrations.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement denouncing the video and demanded immediate punishment for those involved.
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Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement denouncing the video (Image: GETTY)
The MFA said, “such actions are considered in Moscow as an unprecedented unacceptable act of desecration of the state symbol of our country”.
The foreign ministry labelled the incident “extremist antics” as they called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.