A few words about the premises of the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940

Finland — in contrast to Poland — to join it to Russia in 1809, has never been an independentStatebut was a long time ago won a part of Sweden. As a result, Russian-Swedish War of 1808-1809 the territory of the future of the Finnish state was ceded to Russia. Similarly, stories with "Kingdom of Poland" was not only a manifestation of the will of the Russian, but the result of the preceding brief war in 1812, "zigzag" European geopolitics.

The Great War of 1812-1815's as if to protect us from the events of 1807, when Russia took part in the establishment of pan-European "order" by Napoleon (who occupied himself by that time almost all of continental Europe), concluding with him in June and July of this year, the Peace of Tilsit ( by whose decision, in particular, was created Duchy of Warsaw, then became one of the important members of Napoleon's campaign to Moscow). Peace of Tilsit — a phenomenon that is largely similar to the Soviet-German "pact" in 1939, and a comparison of the two hundred and thirty years separated the shares can explain many things.

According to the agreement with Napoleon, Russia pledged to somehow confront not subject to Him UK and the closely related Sweden, which included the territory of Finland. And joining in 1809 to Russian Finland was, in fact, a consequence ofPeace of Tilsit,rather than an expression of the will of its own geopolitical Russia.

Do not underestimate the fact that Finland (and Poland) was immediately granted special status "of the Grand Duchy of Finland," received the economic (its own customs and its own currency) and political (its police and courts) — except for the scopeforeignpolicy — independence. Although this is contrary to common belief, it is part of the Russian Empire formed its own Finnishstatehood inresult after the collapse of the Empire in 1917 as Finland would be quite natural to become a sovereign European (specifically — Nordic) country. And stay in the century-old Russian was for Finland itself, seems to be more "successful" fate than if it continued to be a part of Sweden (for example, "exit" from Finland to Sweden would mean the loss of the last abouthalfits territory, which probably would have caused strong resistance). Characteristically, November 23, 1939, that is, one week before the start of the Russo-Finnish War, the Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Cajander made a statement about the "compassionate policy of Finland, which was conducted by Alexander I and Alexander II and met the approval of the entire population of Finland"; By the way, these monuments of Russian emperors and now adorn the Finnish soil.

October 14, 1939 the Soviet Union invited Finland to make a "territorial exchange", the main element of which was the transfer — in fact, as will be shown further, the return — in the Soviet Union, RussiaKarelian Isthmus(Between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga) in exchange for this isthmus exceeding twice the area situated north. This is worth dwelling on the details, because the fate, seemingly insignificant piece of land (1/15000 of the USSR, and 1/260 of Finland), embodied the fundamental geopolitical problem.

The fact that the Karelian isthmus joined the Russian state at the time of his birth. State that from the beginning appeared as a multinational or rather multibreeding, and according to the "Tale of Bygone Years", the northern core of Russia with its center in the ancient city of Ladoga createdjointlyEast Slavic and Finnish —Chudandwhole —tribes, besides justwholeinhabited the Karelian Isthmus (her descendants, calledVepsians,exist today — in particular, in the Leningrad region in 1989, there were 13,000 people).

Later, the Karelian Isthmus repeatedly tried to take away from Russia-Sweden Finland Russia who owned, and in 1617 she managed to tear away from his weakened over the years of the Time of Troubles in Russia. But in 1721, as already mentioned, Peter the Great returned the Karelian isthmus, creating a border area around the new capital of Russia — thereby restoring the original Russian state border.

However, ninety years later, in 1811 — two years after the creation of the Grand Duchy of Finland — the area was (I must say frankly quite recklessly) attached to it as a sort of generous gift of Alexander I. And after conversion to 1917 Finland a sovereign country it turned out that the border it was not in a hundred and fifty kilometers from St. Petersburg (as it was under Peter) and his almost suburbs … Basically it was like a geopolitical defect, very badly perceived in situation in 1939. And the Soviet Union suggested that the above-mentioned "exchange", and an absolute refusal of Finland responded by war.

Now the USSR during the war stigmatize the last words between eminent British historian Liddell Hart (not "pro-Soviet" adjusted) in 1970, wrote of the "requirements" of the USSR in 1939 in Finland:

An objective examination of these claims shows that they were made on a rational basis in order to provide greater security Russian territory, without causing any serious damage to the security of Finland … "And even after the hard-won in March 1940, the defeat of the Finnish troops" new Soviet demands were only moderate. By putting forward such a modest demands, Stalin Statecraft "- which, it must be noted, still manifests itself in relations between Russia and Finland.

It is necessary to quote the words of Stalin from the transcript of his talks October 12, 1939 with the head of the invited Finnish delegation to Moscow JK Paasikivi: "Wewe can not do anything about the geography(Emphasis added by me —VK)just like you … — Stalin said at the time. — Because you can not move Leningrad, he would have to move away from the border. " That is, it was just about broken in 1917 by geopolitical boundaries — and, ultimately, that is why the British historian objective agreed with the "requirements" in 1939 in Finland.

Indicative in this respect the reasoning of the Finnish War Churchill, in his work "The Second World War." He speaks of the western borders of the Soviet Union in 1939 which caused the rulers of the country's deepest anxiety — the borders with the Baltic countries and Finland, seeing in it a long historical problem. "Even the White Guard government Kolchak — like Churchill — notified the peace conference in Paris (it is the Conference of 1919-1920., Sums up the First World War. —VK)that the base of the Baltic States and Finland (meaning primarily the Karelian Isthmus. —VK)were necessary for the protection of the Russian capital (Petrograda. —VK).Stalin expressed the same idea in English and French missions in the summer of 1939. " That is, it was a matter of "natural" geopolitical border. "Stalin — continued Churchill — do not waste time …" September 28, 1939 was signed the treaty with Estonia, and "21 October the Red Army and air force were already in place — concludes Churchill — the same procedure was simultaneously done in Latvia. Soviet garrisons also appeared in Lithuania … Stayopenapproaches only in Finland » (Thus, Churchill considered joining the Karelian Isthmus is quite natural thing).

At the same time — which is especially impressive — it was by no means the introduction of Soviet troops on the territory of Finland as a whole, only to return a "donated" the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1811, the Karelian Isthmus, which is still in the IX century (!) Belonged to Russia. Nevertheless, began a long and grievous war.


Excerpts from the book V.V.KozhinovaThe history of the twentieth century Russia

Read also about the genocide of Russian in Finland of the 20s

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