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Did the Russians spike Kekkonen's drink?
I recently received a startling e-mail. It contained an extract from a book published in the United States in 2000, according to which the Russians had used something called a "friendship drug" on Finnish President Urho Kekkonen and the leadership of the Finnish Communist Party.
The book was written by Joseph D. Douglass, who has a doctorate from the renowned Cornell University, and who has studied the use of drugs in international politics for several decades. The extract was from the book Betrayed, on how various medications and drugs were used to influence prisoners of war.
The book tells about how governments in various countries - especially the Soviet Union - became interested in synthetic drugs in the 1950s. The Russians tested drugs which undermine will power on clergy and others considered suspect by the Soviet system.
Study: Soviet Union wanted to promote gradual revolution in Finland in 1970
Finnish political historian Kimmo Rentola has concluded in his extensive new book that Soviet Ambassador Aleksei Belyakov, who was stationed in Helsinki in the summer of 1970, did not try to instigate a rapid socialist revolution or coup in Finland.
Although speculation for the past 35 years has been that Belyakov had hopes of promoting a sudden change, Rentola concludes that his real aim was to advance a more gradual transition through legal means. One of the means to this end would have been the election of Foreign Minister Väinö Leskinen (SDP) to the Finnish Presidency in 1974.
A few years earlier Leskinen had made a 180-degree turn in his thinking on foreign policy; formerly a strong adherent of the right wing of the Social Democratic Party with a very critical view of Soviet socialism, he suddenly took a friendlier attitude toward the USSR, and became a leading proponent of the policies of President Urho Kekkonen.
Although he lost his Parliamentary seat in the elections of 1970, Kekkonen saw to it that Leskinen got the Foreign minister's portfolio, over the objections of the leaders of Leskinen's own Social Democratic Party.
I wonder what else will be revealed this weekend...