Recent surveys have shown that among European countries, Finns have the most negative opinions of Russia. Even the Baltic states, which only 15 years ago were still under Soviet occupation, think much more positively of their big neighbour. Many are ready to explain this strange fact by the psychology of superiority: on the western side of the steepest welfare cliff in the world, it now seems very easy to openly dislike or make fun of the giant that previously always represented a major threat, explicitly or implicitly.
But it's not that simple. Opinion polls have proven that Finns are also among the most critical in Europe towards the USA, where, at least on purely economic criteria, average standard of living is (I believe) higher than here. While the hate of Russia gets its fuel from the distant past and USA-bashing from the present, I think there are more general forces at work. On the one hand, it seems that especially the big generations are slightly suspicious of foreigners in general (according to these polls, Finns do not have a particularly positive opinion on any nation). On the other, the results imply a fair amount of power-scepticism
: nothing very big and powerful - whether it's a company or a country - is worth trusting. Ultimately, history warns us, the giant will always turn out selfish enough to ignore everyone else's needs but its own.