Thursday, December 1

Karelia Russia | What is the Karelian solution to end the war in Ukraine?


  • Finland was forced to cede to Russia a part of Karelia, a region of southeastern finnish

Sweden will formally apply for NATO membership. The movement has come a day after Finland officially confirmed its intention to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In this way, the two Nordic countries abandon neutrality in the face of the threat posed to them by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Finland and Russia share a border of about 1,340 kilometers, fruit of several treaties signed at the end of the Second World War. In these treaties, Finland was forced to cede to Russia a part of Karelia, a region of southeast Finland that has historically come to belong to four different countries.

The Secretary General of NATO has uttered a phrase that could be key to the future of Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg has appealed to the ‘Karelian solution’.

Karelia region, now shared by Finland and Russia, it extends from the coast of the White Sea to the Gulf of Finland and has the two largest lakes in Europe (Ladoga and Onega). It is usually divided into two parts: Eastern Karelia and Western Karelia, also known as Russian Karelia and Finnish Karelia, respectively.

In 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, beginning the winter war. The Finns fought quite successfully in northern Karelia, managing to overrun White Karelia, but on the Karelian Isthmus (or Aunis Isthmus) Soviet troops penetrated the Finnish defenses. In the Moscow Peace Treaty most of Finnish Karelia was handed over to the USSR. More than 400,000 people, almost the entire population of Viipuri (Vyborg), fled and had to be evacuated to Finland.

In 1941, taking advantage of the attack of the Nazi Germany to the USSR, Karelia was reconquered for three years (1941–1944) in the Continuation Warin which East Karelia was also occupied by the Finns.

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At the end of World War II in 1945, almost all of Karelia was reincorporated into the USSR and included in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic under the name of Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, with the city of Petrozavodsk as its capital.

The small sector of Karelia that has remained in the possession of Finland belongs to the provinces of Eastern Finland and Southern Finland and to the regions of North Karelia and South Karelia. The most important cities in the Finnish part of Karelia are Lappeenranta, Joensuu and Imatra.


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