Why Stalin did not make Finland a Soviet Republic

History 14/02/20 Why Stalin did Finland a Republic of the USSR

during the Second world war, the Soviet Union and Finland fought each other twice. First time – alone, in the winter of 1939-1940 the Second time in 1941-1944 when Finland was an ally of Nazi Germany. Both times, the Soviet Union won a victory on formal grounds (annexed new territory). Both times, Finland has not just remained independent, but has retained the democratic system, based on private property rights. The outcome of two encounters with a huge Eastern neighbor in principle, be regarded as a victory for Finland, especially when you consider that the plan-a maximum of Stalin contemplated the annexation of Finland to the USSR. After all, before the revolution, this country was part of the Russian Empire.

the answer to the question posed in the title, it seems so obvious: not attached because I couldn’t. Finland won its independence. However, there is a reason and in the arguments of those who claim that in fact Stalin was not particularly wanted. Try to understand.

the Secret protocols to the agreements of August-September 1939 between the USSR and Germany recognized the exclusive right of the Soviet Union East of the line of separation of powers in Poland. Thus, the Baltic States, including Finland, were included in the sphere of interests of the USSR. In September and October 1939 the Soviet Union signed with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania of “mutual assistance treaties” on the basis of which assumed the obligation to defend those countries from external attacks and placed its troops there. Attempt to conclude such an agreement with Finland ran into the intransigence of the Finnish government. When the Soviet Union accused the Finnish armed provocations on the border and November 30, 1939, without a Declaration of war entered its territory troops.

the purpose of this action was evidenced by the proclamation on 1 December in the borderom Terijoki (now Zelenogorsk) the Finnish Democratic Republic government headed by the Soviet Communist O. V. Kuusinen. The USSR stated that it is not in war with Finland, as the only Finnish higher state body recognized the Kuusinen’s Cabinet, with whom he has already established diplomatic relations and signed a Treaty of mutual assistance. So, in that period Stalin was counting on an easy and quick victory over Finland and not going more than to negotiate with the internationally recognized government of that country. His intention was the occupation of all of Finland and the establishment of a government “democratic Republic.” In the long term it meant either joining the USSR as a Union Republic (as it was done a little later, with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), or “Mongolian version” – formally independent socialist state under the complete control of the Soviet Union.

the First week of the war, Soviet Newspapers were filled with bravura reports on how the population of Finland is happy to welcome the Red Army – the liberator from the bourgeois regime, and supports the government “democratic Republic.” But then the protracted military actions, accompanied by heavy military losses of the USSR, and the total rejection of the Finnish population of the Soviet system forced Stalin to give up the plan of “democratic Republic” and to go to the restoration of relations with the legal authorities of Finland. The winter war led to exhaustion of forces on both sides. The Soviet Union’s high price has made great territorial gains, but the purpose of the war planned by Stalin, managed to reach.

In November 1940, during a visit to Berlin the people’s Commissar for foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov tried to get Hitler’s guarantees of freedom of action of the USSR against Finland. This meant that the plans for the complete subjugation of Finland Soviet influence was not left by Stalin.

Education in April 1940 the Karelo-Finnish SSR can also indicate intention to create in the USSR, “Soviet Finland”, which is further expected to expand. Some historians find indications that Stalin had designed in 1942, the re-conquest of Finland. But was prevented by the Great Patriotic war.

When the ruling circles of Finland was obviously imminent defeat of Nazi Germany, they began to take steps to separate out of the war with the Soviet Union. In February, 1944 through the Soviet Ambassador in Stockholm, Alexandra Kollontai Finnish government was transferred to the Soviet conditions, considered at first in Helsinki, excessive and unacceptable. However, after the summer of 1944 the Soviet army won another victory, including on the Finnish front, President of Finland H. R. ryti resigned. The new President, field Marshal C. G. Mannerheim insisted on the acceptance of the Soviet terms, which by that time had already been mitigated. September 4, 1944, the hostilities between USSR and Finland ended.

the Main thing for Finland was that it avoided occupation by Soviet troops. However, the disarmament of the German troops was going to happen on its territory. The implementation of this paragraph of the armistice agreement led to a series of fighting between the Finnish army and the Wehrmacht in the autumn of 1944 Finland this time escaped with a concession to the Soviet Union of the Petsamo (Pechenga) in the Barents sea. Stalin really lowered the bar of demands to Finland for a speedy conclusion of peace. Why he did it, and abandoned plans Sovietization of this country?

the most Important reason was the need to have more strength to defeat the main enemy – Nazi Germany. In comparison with this goal, the task of the Sovietization of Finland was losing its value. Another and almost equally important reason was that the Soviet Union at this time was waging war in coalition with the US and the UK. Moreover, the United States and Finland were not at war. And UK after repeated requests, Stalin declared war on Finland 6 Of December 1941the official pretext for it was the refusal of the Finnish government to withdraw their troops to the borders of 1939, Stalin was forced to negotiate with great Britain the terms of the armistice with Finland. The armistice agreement, signed on 19 September 1944 in Moscow, was also tripartite.

Try in these conditions to occupy under one pretext or another the whole of Finland and the change of the political regime was fraught Stalin a major rift with Western allies. And they still needed him not only to achieve victory over the main enemy, but he believed then, for the post-war world reconstruction and recovery of the Soviet economy.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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