This year marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Winter War. The war started when the Soviet Union attacked Finland without a declaration of war.
In the secret minutes of the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union, or the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland was marked as belonging to the Soviet sphere of interest. This treaty was among the main factors that led to the breaking out of the Winter War. The war ended on 13 March 1940, after 105 days of fighting.
Defending Finland’s independence came at a heavy cost. More than 25,000 Finns died in the war effort and about 44,000 were wounded. Civilian casualties numbered more than 1,000. The losses suffered by the Soviet Union in the war were substantially higher. Finland maintained its independence but had to cede 11% of its territory to the Soviet Union. About 430,000 Finns, or 12% of the population at the time, lost their homes and had to be resettled in other parts of Finland. Läs artikel