Behind Soviet Union's Motive in Invading Finland

It was a war one of the sides involved would rather forget, while the other fights to keep the memory alive. Finns are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of the Winter War against the Soviet Union.

 

After months of ultimatums, on November 30, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland.

 

With a sizeable advantage in manpower, tanks and aircraft, the Red Army command expected victory within weeks.

 

“We could not understand why. The Soviet Union was so big, so why would they take something from us?” says Lars Loflund, Finnish war veteran.

 

Just months earlier, the Soviet Union and Germany had signed a non-aggression pact, which contained a secret protocol dividing North and East Europe into spheres of influence. Finland fell under the USSR's.

 

That fitted in with Stalin's plan to expand the Soviet border from its second city of Leningrad. However, the Soviet Union had underestimated the Finns.

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