Interesting Similarities Between Soviet-Finnish & Russian Ukraine War

Putin is pushing hard to bring Ukraine to its knees, but forgets or somehow ignores its past… There are many similarities between the Russian Finnish war of 1939-1940 (also known as the winter war ) and the current war in Ukraine.

The Russian-Finnish border was only 32 km from Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg. Stalin ordered his army to attack Finland, assuming an invasion that would be completed in a few days at most. (Sounds familiar?). The rest of the world showed no objection, even no one gave the Finns a chance. (Does it sound familiar?)

In the beginning of war, even famous British historian and diplomat Harold Nicholson said that “the Finns are fighting well, but they will surrender in a day or two.”

This was a widely accepted view; it was believed that the Finns would soon lose the war.

Soviet-Finnish & Russian Ukraine War

The population of the Ussr in 1939 was about 175 million; Finland population is less than 4 million. Finns essentially did not have heavy weapons: they had no tanks, even anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, large-caliber artillery, and almost no warplanes. 

Stalin attacked with an army of about 500,000 men. The Finns, on the other hand, had 120,000 lightly armed manpower.

Ukraine now has just over 200,000 soldiers, Russia 900,000. Russia has large manpower reserves, while Ukraine has much less soldiers. Russia has more than three times Ukraine’s battle tanks and more than ten times its military budget.

Like the Ukrainians of today, the Finns had a fierce love for their country, the courage and skill to defend themselves. They were fighting for their home and their families in the land they knew so well. The invading soviet troops were almost completely reluctant soldiers with little motivation or knowledge of why they should fight.

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Some international volunteers (just over 10,000) joined the Finns. But western countries did nothing to avoid getting involved with Stalin. American President Roosevelt wanted to provide a dozen Brewster Buffalo fighter jets to help. But these planes were so bad, which were called flying coffins by American pilots.

Finland had been part of the Russian Empire since 1809, but managed to retain its nationalist identity against the assimilation efforts of the tsar. Just after the 1917 revolution, Finland finally declared its independence.

In 1939, Stalin was quite confident that he would make Finland part of Russia again. For this reason, he greatly underestimated the Finnish people.

Sworn to defend their homeland, highly motivated Finnish ski troops were dressed in white camouflage suits. Using rifles and machine guns, these troops wreaked havoc on the Soviet forces. They launched rapid, devastating hit-and-run attacks.

Increasingly despondent in the face of these attacks, the Russian soldiers began to refer to the Finnish troops as “ghosts”

Finnish Simo Hayha, who was among these units, was seen as the most successful sniper of all time. It is stated that he killed more than 500 Russian soldiers.

Finnish Simo Hayha, who was among these units, was seen as the most successful sniper of all time.

The Finns also used the Molotov cocktail, an effective homemade weapon, first used during the Spanish Civil War. Soviet statesman Vyacheslav Molotov, in his statements, had said that Soviet Army was on a humanitarian mission to bring aid to the hungry Finnish people. The weapon was later referred to as the “Molotov cocktail” in the literature, would be given by the Finns to make fun of the Soviet Statesman Molotov.

The leader of Finland, Carl Gustav Mannerheim, with his country, resisted the Soviets for 140 days, surprisingly, but had to come to an agreement with the Soviets as their resources began to run out.

The Finns had lost some approximately 25,000 soldiers; the soviets are around 250,000. This struggle of the Finns was one of the most important examples of defense. It also turned out that Stalin’s army was much weaker than was commonly thought. This led to Hitler’s attack on the Soviets.

The Finns had lost some approximately 25,000 soldiers; the soviets are around 250,000. This struggle of the Finns was one of the most important examples of defense. It also turned out that Stalin’s army was much weaker than was commonly thought. This led to Hitler’s attack on the Soviets.

While Stalin described his invasion of Finland as a “liberation operation”, Putin claimed that his forces were conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine, claiming that his aim was to protect ethnic Ukrainian Russians and rid Ukraine of “drug-addicted Nazi leadership”.

History is full of unsuccessful operations of superpowers against states that are weaker than themselves. e.g.; Like the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Americans in Vietnam.

There’s no guarantee that Russia’s past against Finland will be a repeat of its current war against Ukraine, but Putin’s ignorance might set his country up for failure again.