Exposing the Pro-Russian Agenda in Finland: The case of Johan Bäckman

We continue to describe the pro-Russian presence in Finland. In our previous article, we brought attention to Leena Hietanen, who is closely connected with J. Bäckman – a disciple of Alexander Dugin and an avid disinfo spreader who has been spreading anti-propaganda on Kremlin-controlled media for years.

Johan Bäckman

This Finn, one of the main pro-agitators, named Johan Bäckman. He is a Chairperson of a radical political organisation Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee (SAFKA), which was established in 2008. 

Johan Bäckman is a frequent commentator on Finnish-Russian relations in the Russian media and has been declared persona non grata in Estonia and Moldova. He previously ran as a candidate in the European Parliament elections in 2009 and the Finnish Parliament elections in 2011, representing the Workers’ Party of Finland, but was not elected. In 2014, he declared himself as a representative of the pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic” in Finland. He has been actively encouraging people to travel to and fight in the Donbas region on the Russian side of the war since at least 2015.

In 2020, the Finnish Supreme Court sentenced Johan to 60 days of probation for the persecution of journalist Jessikka Aro. He also had to compensate Aro for around 18000 euros.

J. Bäckman and journalist Jessikka Aro

This is probably not a big deal to Johan, whose father used to be the CEO of a large Finnish enterprise, Hartwall. In 2006 Bäckman informed that he owns 1,5 million euro worth of the company stock.

Johan’s “antifascist association” SAFKA has claimed that in Finland people have planned terrorist attacks against Russia and that the alleged organizers might have connections to al-Qaida. In July 2022, newspaper HS published an article that claimed that Johan has been giving anti-Finn statements and press releases to RU media. After Russia’s illegal invasion in Ukraine, Johan has spewn anti-Ukrainian rhetoric (eg.”Ukraine as a nation does not exist”) in RU media.

These days Johan’s  media presence comes mostly from his YouTube channel.

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