Samaan virtaan – Putinin sota naisia vastaan

Samaan virtaan – Putinin sota naisia vastaan Same River Twice - Putin's War Against Women

Same River Twice is an impactful essay, depicting how Russia is repeating its old playbook in Ukraine, a playbook first executed by Catherine the Great in Crimea in 1783, and again on a larger and bloodier scale by the Soviet Union and Stalin.

Russia has never confronted its imperialist past. Instead, the Kremlin has focused on creating enemies, using them to lay the groundwork for the sexual violence it employs in wars and dehumanizing those who become victims of human rights abuses. Gender equality progress is in decline in Putin’s Russia. Russia silences women, uses rape as a weapon, and humiliates its victims in the media, threatening them with further sexual violence.

Same River Twice is a story of colonialism, oppression and genocide. It’s a story of war and of women, of women’s rights and the importance of lifting their voices. Because we need to talk about war, and we need to talk about war crimes. Silence cannot ever win.

Hence, Same River Twice is a necessary read, written with Sofi’s characteristic beautiful language, and which tackles a very current subject matter.


  • “Sofi Oksanen is an exceptionally innovative and powerful writer. […] This is indeed a book well timed for International Women’s Day on 8 March. /…/ Same River Twice makes your heart pound – and you will never again follow news from Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine without thinking about the bestialities that are documented. ”


    VG, Norway

  • “Sofi Oksanen’s essay is thoroughly documented. When she analyzes Russian history and Soviet propaganda in light of the war in Ukraine, and concludes that an old pattern has been given new nourishment by the species “Homo Putinicus”, i.e. by brainwashed nationalists, it is enough to cry. Or roar with rage.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “Sofi Oksanen – the gloomy and yet so insightful and vigilant voice of the north! Hardly anyone in Finland writes as politically as she does, tracing the lines of pain in history in order to understand the present and gaze into the future.”

    ttt - ARD, Germany

  • “Each chapter is an essay that stands well on its own; the alternating between the personal and the broader contexts allows a partly incomprehensible reality to become understandable for the reader. Collectively, the texts in the book form a highly convincing document. [Sofi Oksanen] shows us how misogyny is a premise for the totalitarian dictatorship, employing the systematic approach of a researcher and the insight of a novelist.”


    Adresseavisen, Norway

  • “A rigorous essay /…/ The author of “Purge” draws methodically from extensive and finely executed documentation. The entire book sparks with rage and sharp lucidity /…/ The way Oksanen intertwines the erasure of peoples and the destruction of an individual’s life encapsulates the power of the book.”

    Le Monde, France

  • Same River Twice: Putin’s War Against Women, an essay that delivers, with composure and method, information about sexual crimes committed in Ukraine, the figure of the Russian male, and the misogynistic policy of the state.

    ELLE France, France

  • “Hair-raisingly fierce and extremely relevant, but above all, it is brilliantly knowledgeable.”

    Ilta-Sanomat, Finland

  • “With this book, Sofi Oksanen is definitely a rising star in the essay field. /…/ Oksanen brings a top-quality work to the field of Finnish essays, which will certainly generate discussion and gain international attention as well.”

    Mesta, Finland

  • “Oksanen’s fresh approach is anything but theoretical word-twisting. The book is full of interesting examples, experiences and events, which altogether make the themes palpable and influential. The Russian imperialism rises to be the key concept.”

    Turun Sanomat, Finland

  • “Sofi Oksanen is not silent. On the contrary. She is a literary star in her homeland, one of the most prominent authors at the breaking point between what we call the West and Russia. /…/ In [Same River Twice], [Oksanen] manages the feat of expressing her anger in an emotional way and at the same time analyzing the war in Ukraine and, above all, its history in a very calm way with numerous sources. /…/ It is painful, but it is worth listening to Sofi Oksanen.”

    Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Germany

  • “[Same River Twice] is a comprehensive and carefully researched essay.”

    News, Germany

  • “[Oksanen is] one of the most important voices in contemporary literature. /…/ She acts as a ruthlessly drastic chronicler of violence against women in times of occupation and war.”

    Sternstunde Philosophie, Germany

  • “[Same River Twice] can have a real impact, even though it’s just words. Even though the book deals with difficult topics, Oksanen’s great writing skills manages to engage the reader.”

    ERR, Estonia

  • “[Same River Twice] is eye-opening, filled with pathos and with a style that makes every word glow on the pages. /…/ [Same River Twice]’s perhaps biggest merit is that it views Russia’s violence against its neighbors through a post-colonial lens.”

    ETC, Sweden

  • “With its two hundred references, [Same River Twice] could have been a heavy read, but Oksanen writes vividly. /…/ Same River Twice places Russia’s war in Ukraine in a postcolonial and feminist context. It’s freeing, because reports risk getting stuck in geopolitics and militia. /…/ The chapter depicting Russian troll farms’ meticulous efforts to shatter the feminist movement is especially interesting. /…/ Oksanen has written a text that opens up to conversation where there is now silence.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “With a clear and detailed language, Oksanen manages to depict Russia’s history of populism and propaganda, Kreml’s oppression of women, and how these factors increase the use of sexual violence as a weapon. /…/ Same River Twice is a relevant book today, and it will be a relevant book tomorrow. Where it goes into detail on Russia’s use of sexual violence, it is equally relevant when looking at the rest of the world.”

    KULT magasin, Sweden

  • “[Same River Twice] is something much more fundamental than a current confrontation with a time-specific and named tyrant /…/ Yes, [Oksanen] details events happening now, in this ongoing reality. /…/ [But Same River Twice] is a necessary depiction of something worse than the evilness of one person. /…/ I can’t stop quoting – it’s because everything in [Same River Twice] must be read. With pauses, yes, to be able to take it all in. With eyes that sometimes shut, reflexively, to protect the soul. But which are forced to open again. A book that cannot be put aside because the lilac blooms, nor because the evening is blue and tepid.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “Sofi Oksanen is an intellectual who pushes her topics to their very limit. /…/ Sofi Oksanen can be placed side by side with postcolonial authors like Salman RushdieV S Naipaul, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. /…/ Reading Same River Twice is as horrid as it is clarifying. Sofi Oksanen listens – and never looks away. She is without a doubt one of our time’s most important voices.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • Same River Twice is a strong manifesto from an outspoken author who knows the details of this colonial power’s oppression of women and censorship.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “[A] passionate indictment, the result of intensive research. /…/ [Same River Twice] vividly shows how the Russian power apparatus of the army and secret services deliberately use sexual violence against women (and men). /…/ Oksanen confronts us with shocking scenes and disturbing truths. She appeals to the conscience of the world to look and not remain silent. [Same River Twice] is a wake-up call through the power of her portrayal – and a perspective on the future: unlike in the past, atrocities are now documented.”

    Frankfurter Neue Presse, Germany

  • “[A] shocking analysis. /…/ [Oksanen] wants to give the victims a voice. It is difficult to read about this much suffering (…) but that is exactly what makes the text so important. At times it seems like a hastily written incendiary pamphlet (…), but that reflects the urgency (…). The author’s anger is unmistakable.”

    Augsburger Allgemeine Wochenendjournal, Germany

  • Same River Twice is written with intensity and energy. [A] highly readable non-fiction book about a leader and a country on which we must have a sharp spotlight.”


    Nettavisen, Norway

  • “With Same River Twice, [Oksanen] has written an incendiary pamphlet against Russia (…). [S]traightforward and angry.”

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Germany

  • “[A] thoroughly factual and analytical book /…/ [A] moving, stirring book.”

    Tages-Anzeiger, Germany

  • “With Same River Twice, [Sofi Oksanen] has written a knowledgeable and analytically sharp essay on a difficult topic.”

    Die Welt, Germany

Photo: Toni Härkönen Sofi Oksanen
  • Literary essay
Reading material

Finnish edition

English translation

Rights sold

Croatia, Fraktura

Czech Republic, Euromedia

Denmark, Lindhardt og Ringhof

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Like

France, Stock

Germany, Kiepenheuer & Witsh

Hungary, Scolar

Iceland, Forlagid

Italy, Einaudi

Norway, Kagge

Portugal, Objectiva

Romania, Polirom

Spain, Salamandra

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Ukraine, Komora

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