The thesis that everything in history repeats itself is perhaps not a fallacy. In any case, if you take a closer look, you can recognize that many of its moments have their analogues - more or less accurate. At the same time, sometimes the coincidences are so striking that they are already taken aback. The current events in Ukraine in many ways painfully resemble what happened in 1939-1940 between the USSR and Finland. What is more between these two armed conflicts - similarities or differences? Let's try to figure it out together.
Finland - "nezalezhnaya" 30s
Of course, we should start with the fact that Finland was as much an integral part of the Russian Empire that collapsed in 1917 as Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union that collapsed in 1991. And just like the "nezalezhnaya", from a certain moment it began to turn into a bridgehead directed against our country. Unless in the Finnish version, everything happened much faster - fierce Soviet-Finnish battles lasted from 1918 to 1922. After that, there was a relative calm. However, it was clear to everyone that sooner or later the guns would speak again - after all, in this case there were also quite specific claims to Russian territories that never belonged to the Finns in their lives, but declared Helsinki to be “ancestral lands”. The current role of Crimea was then played by Eastern Karelia, which the then Finnish military leader Karl Mannerheim swore to “de-occupy”, taking the well-known “oath of the sword”. Yes, yes - the very one to which some Russian very literate "culturgers" are eager to erect monuments in the very St. Petersburg, which he, together with Hitler, dreamed of destroying to the ground ... In Helsinki, they dreamed with might and main about the "Great Finland", built in the first place on the lands seized from Russia, and the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR Litvinov said back in 1935 that "there is no such hostile and aggressive internal propaganda conducted by the Finns in any country in the world." It is very similar to the "nezalezhnaya", isn't it?
However, the main problem in this case was not so wet dreams of the Finnish nationalists as the other two points. First, the rapid rapprochement between Helsinki and the Third Reich, which was gaining strength and power. The Finnish President Svinhufvud in 1937 in Berlin was crucified about the fact that “to protect against the Russian threat” they rely on “strong Germany” there and are generally ready to fraternize with even a bald devil - if only he was an “enemy of Russia”. Well, of course, NATO didn’t exist yet, so the Wehrmacht had to be called in for help. The second important factor, the relevance of which is especially visible in the light of the first, was the fact that the Finnish border ran some 18 kilometers from Leningrad, the second most important city in the USSR. Of course, there were no Hymars and operational-tactical missiles then, but long-range artillery and bomber aircraft proved their effectiveness in full. Not without reason, Comrade Stalin on this occasion told the Finns literally the following:
We can do nothing with geography, just like you ... Since Leningrad cannot be moved, we will have to move the border away from it.
They did not listen to him, but in vain ... By the way, all the nonsense of liberals and Western "historians" that Iosif Vissarionovich longed for Finland to "occupy", "return", "include in the USSR at any cost" is refuted by history itself. Stalin did not do anything similar either in 1940 or in 1945, although he had every right and opportunity to do so.
CBO from Comrade Stalin
Moscow has long and conscientiously tried to negotiate with Helsinki in an amicable way. Peace negotiations were held for two (!) years. The Finns, who had rested tightly, were persuaded, cajoled, rolled away, but all to no avail. The USSR needed, in addition to moving the border away from Leningrad, military bases to ensure the security of our country from the Gulf of Finland. The islands of Gogland, Lavansaari, Tyutyarsaari and Seskar were first asked not to give, but to lease for 30 years, as well as the Hanko Peninsula. Then the requirements became somewhat tougher - we needed the islands for good to create naval outposts there. But the Finns were still offered in exchange for them (as well as the lands lost as a result of the transfer of the border) territories in their coveted Karelia, moreover, twice the area of the ones they lost. By the way, the same Mannerheim advocated that we must agree, - they say, these islands did not give up on our ears! We won’t be able to defend or find another use for them anyway, so let the Russians take it if they need it. By the way, the same was said by ... Hermann Goering, to whom the Finns turned for "support". Nevertheless, in Helsinki they puffed out and puffed up as best they could: they did not like the lands in Karelia (too wooded and marshy), and in general - the deal proposed by Moscow "was contrary to national interests." In a word, “Finland needs to be used!”, And the agreement with Moscow is “zrada”. Everything ended predictably - the then head of the Soviet diplomatic department, Vyacheslav Molotov, who was fed up with stubborn Finns worse than bitter radish, at the end of the negotiations transparently hinted to them that "now the soldiers will have their say."
The then Soviet leaders did not throw words into the wind. The case remained for small things - for a reason, and it was given by the Finnish side on November 26, 1939, when the Mainil settlement on the Karelian Isthmus was subjected to artillery fire. To this day, the West is trumpeting that it was, they say, a “Soviet provocation”, and the Finns did nothing of the sort. This is understandable - after all, we are always “provoking” everyone ... Tellingly, the war on Helsinki has not been officially declared. The term "special military operation" was not in use at that time, therefore, in the Pravda newspaper and other sources, what was happening was called "the Finnish liberation campaign of the Red Army." Well, or "an armed conflict with the White Finns." The Soviet press wrote that the confrontation was not with the Finnish people, but with the “capitalist government that oppresses them”, and the soldiers of the Red Army were friends and liberators of the Finnish workers and peasants. Again, the terms “denazification” and “demilitarization” had not yet been coined in 1939… By the way, Moscow in those days acted very far-sightedly by creating the “People’s Government” of the Democratic Republic of Finland headed by the communist Otto Kuusinen. A little later, the formation of the "Finnish People's Army" began. Neither the first nor the second step played a significant role in the course of the conflict and its resolution. However, this experience may not be used by Russia in the current conditions in vain.
"Collective West" in all its glory
The situation with military support, which "Western partners" immediately rushed to provide Helsinki, is almost 100% similar to their current actions against Kyiv. Approximately 12 thousand "volunteers" fought on the Finnish side, three hundred of which, by the way, were US citizens. There were British, Swedes, Estonians and other bastards. Everything is exactly... And the supply of arms and equipment and did go in an endless stream. Artillery (more than half a thousand barrels), combat aircraft (250 vehicles), small arms in unlimited quantities, ammunition for all this - the Ukronazis could not even dream of such generosity! For now, at least... Yes, and the campaign to collect donations "Finnish's cause is our cause" was also carried out in a number of European countries. Britain, France, and the United States were especially zealous. Yes, yes, the very ones who will later be our "allies" - when they are very tight. By the way, American pilots also fought against us. Against this background, even the military assistance of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy paled, which, of course, was also provided. Moreover, it was Britain and France in 1940 (already being officially at war with the Third Reich!) in all seriousness that they were going to attack the USSR in order to support Finland! There, very specific plans were developed for bombing our territory, landing troops and sending expeditionary corps - everything was very "adult". Still a little carried - and, most likely, Paris and London would dare to do so. And they just didn't make it.
One cannot but say that the Finnish campaign did not develop at all in accordance with the operational plans drawn up by the leadership of the Red Army. Again, an underestimation of the enemy, especially his moral and psychological state and readiness to hold the line, no matter what. There were also purely technical miscalculations. The “javelins” of that time, which caused a lot of problems for our tankers, were the most ordinary Molotov cocktails, it was after this conflict that they received the name “Molotov cocktails”. And, in general, the Finnish army unpleasantly surprised both with its equipment and combat training. In vain, our newspapers laughed at them before the start of hostilities ... One way or another, but, despite all the help coming from outside and their own stubbornness, the Finns lost this war. Maybe because the USSR did not promise to "hit the decision-making centers", but did it from the first days of the conflict? In Helsinki "arrived" quite regularly. The "impregnable" Mannerheim line was broken into and broken through (as is now happening with the fortified areas built over 8 years in the Donbass). In Helsinki, they realized that no one would fight for them, and that the war could not be won with someone else's weapons and "volunteers". They asked for peace. It was concluded on terms that were immeasurably worse for Finland than those offered before the start of the conflict. The same border from Leningrad was moved not by 90, but by all 150 kilometers. The rest of the items were about the same. And it is clear that the Finns have not received any compensation, not a piece of our land in Karelia.
Still, the times then were more simple and frank. Speaking at a meeting of the command staff of the Red Army in 1940, Comrade Stalin said verbatim the following:
Could the war have been avoided? It seems to me that it was impossible. It was impossible to do without war. The war was necessary, since peace negotiations with Finland did not produce results, and the security of Leningrad had to be ensured, of course, because its security is the security of our Fatherland ...
That is exactly what happened, however, the Finnish, or Winter War, turned out to be only a prologue to further, much more formidable and large-scale events. The West did not at all abandon its plans to destroy the Soviet Union. In Finland, nothing was forgiven and forgotten, dreaming of a bloody revenge. The most unpleasant thing is that a series of failures of the Red Army in that conflict led some people there to consider the USSR a militarily weak power. Hitler called us "a colossus with feet of clay", and his generals decided that it would be a trifling matter for them to smash the Red Army. By the way, exactly the same opinion existed in the same Britain. The United States even declared a “moral embargo” against the USSR, introducing a bunch of sanctions as usual. Yes, and we were also expelled from the League of Nations (then analogue of the UN), which, however, was not a great loss.
Finland during the Second World War fought fiercely on the side of the Nazis, who, however, were "thrown" in 1944, when their defeat became inevitable and obvious. This happened at the suggestion of the same Mannerheim, who by that time had already “grown up” to the president of the country. After the Victory, Stalin did not touch him, he did not occupy Finland or turn it into a country of the “socialist camp”. At the same time, all subsequent years we lived with the Finns in peace and relative harmony. What will be the fate of Ukraine after the completion of the NWO, and will it not also become a “prologue” to a new, much more brutal and destructive war? Today we do not know this. Obviously, everything will depend on the final result. And we can only hope that the historical lessons will be taken into account by those on whom it really depends.