The shocking news that Russia had launched a war in Ukraine spread around the world on Thursday morning. The war within Europe’s borders is shocking and worrying people everywhere.
The Imatra Parish is organizing a joint prayer for peace at 7 p.m. Thursday evening in Tainionkoski Church.
“This morning we have woken up to the fact that war has begun in Ukraine. It’s good to react immediately. Another reason is that our bishops across the board have called on all congregations to hold a prayer hour, ” says Mari Parkkinen, Vicar of Imatra Parish.
The vicar was incredulous this morning as she read the headlines about the war in Ukraine. She’s sad to see her faith in humanity go away once again.
“It’s heart-breaking and tragic when there’s a war going on. Ordinary people suffer in the midst of war. The sadness this morning was palpable,” Parkkinen says.
Imatra Parish welcomes everyone to Tainionkoski Church in the evening to light a candle for peace.
Source: Santeri Tynkkynen, Uutisvuoksi, 24 February 2022. Translated by Living in FIN
This was the scene earlier today (24 February 2022) outside the Russian embassy in Helsinki, via artist Alexander Reichstein. The crowd is shouting, “Russia get out, down with Putin!”
A scary clown has struck again in Vuoksenniska, this time on the bike path at the end of Retikankuja. Photo by Minna Mäkinen. Courtesy of Uutisvuoksi
Clown Character Shows Up in Vuoksenniska in Broad Daylight, Scares Two Schoolboys Clown Was Lurking in Bushes on Bike Path Leading to Lakasentie
Minna Mäkinen Uutisvuoksi
September 30, 2019
A character wearing a clown mask has struck again in Vuoksenniska. This time the character appeared in broad daylight—on Sunday sometime after one in the afternoon.
The victims of the intimidation were schoolboys out riding their bicycles.
“The boys came home out of breath and told me the clown had been in the bushes. He had come out of the bushes to chase them. He was not able to overtake the boys since they pedaled as quickly away from the spot as they could,” said Tanja Jaatinen, mother of one of the boys.
According to the boys, the clown character was holding a knife.
The incident occurred at the end of Retikankuja on the bike path leading to Lakasenpelto.
The encounter with the clown frightened the second-graders.
“I was freaked out, too,” Jaatinen said.
She immediately reported the incident to emergency services.
“A police patrol has been to the spot,” she said.
The police situation center confirmed their officers had gone to Vuoksenniska, but no one was found at the scene of the incident.
Last Incident Was in Early September
According to Jaatinen, it was especially unfortunate the clown character was scaring little children, who until then had ventured to move around by themselves in the daytime.
The last time a clown struck was in Vuoksenniska on September 3. The target of the intimidation was 17-year-old Imatra resident Samu Kemppi.
Kemppi was biking toward the underpass that runs under Saimaanhovintie in Vuoksenniska when a person dressed in a clown suit jumped from the hillside in front of him.
The site of the September 2019 incident. Image courtesy of Google Maps
Kemppi called emergency services, but when police arrived at the scene they could find no trace of the perpetrator.
The police have been investigating the incident in early September as illegal intimidation.
A person in a clown suit also made headlines in Imatra in October 2017 when they intimidated a young girl in Vuoksenniska. The police then also failed to catch the perpetrator.
The merciless of human beings towards the natural environment, the built environment, and each other is going to catch up with them soon, I’m afraid.
The latest victim is a handsome apartment block in Imatrankoski, Imatra, built before the war (if I’m not mistaken) by Jalmari Lankinen, the then-head architect of Finland’s thriving second city, Viipuri (Vyborg).
I still haven’t figured out why this building had to go, even though I’ve read several incoherent explanations by city planners and developers in the local daily rag over the past year.
Most everywhere in the world, city planning and the construction business are rackets and mafias, and the real reason they knock things down is just to build something else in their place, almost always uglier, taller, needlessly expensive, and much less functional.
Lankinen is one of the most victimized architects from the glorious heyday of funkis (Finnish functionalism). Out in a gorgeous spot on the Lake Saimaa shore called Tiuruniemi, which is technically part of Greater Lappeenranta but is geographically part of Greater Imatra, Lankinen built an absolutely lovely tuberculosis hospital right before the Winter War, which then served as field hospital once the war started.
Not so long ago, Tiuru Hospital served as the asylum seeker and refugee reception center for this part of Finland, but when developers decided to turn the nearby Rauha psychiatric asylum (another place with lots of good architecture, including some fine exemplars of funkis) into Holiday Club Saimaa, a retreat for bourgeois Russians flush with cash from the “prosperity” of the era of Putin 2.0, the asylum seekers were moved to a recently closed prison south of Joutseno, out of sight and mostly out of mind.
Holiday Club Saimaa and the Lappeenranta authorities had some vague plans to do something with Tiuru Hospital, but when the Russian and Finnish economies tanked, those plans came to naught, and the hospital has been sitting unoccupied in the woods for many years now. Recently, the Lappeenranta authorities made the Solomonic decision to stop heating the building, allegedly, because it was costing them too much. So now its degradation will proceed apace, although it is a listed building, supposedly protected by the Museovirasto or some such government agency.
When the refugee crisis struck, it occurred to me it would be a perfect opportunity to fix up Tiuru Hospital and fill it with life again, but inexplicably the Finnish Red Cross and the immigration authorities chose a hotel in Imatra that had fallen on hard times to accommodate its tiny quota of refugees.
Actually, there are so many empty spaces in Imatra and other parts of South Karelia, you could probably easily house all the inhabitants of a small Syrian city here without anyone noticing.
But instead we get absolutely meaningless “renovation” and “urban renewal,” as pictured above, instead of an exciting experiment in learning to live together with perfect strangers and redefining Finnishness (and Europeanness).