Lenin crossed the border of the Russian Empire in Tornio on 15 April 1917

Lenin, who had been in exile in Switzerland, returned with his family to Russia through Germany, Sweden and Finland in April 1917. He crossed the border of the Empire in Tornio, like many others who returned to Russia after the revolution. What was extraordinary in Lenin’s return was that it would not have been possible […]

When did Finland become independent?

When we talk about Finland gaining independence, we must distinguish five separate processes: (1) the de facto severance of the Finnish-Russian state connection; (2) Finland’s declarations of independence; (3) the reorganisation of the powers wielded by the Russian sovereign, i.e. the adoption of the constitution of Finland with regard to the mutual relations of the […]

March revolution in Russia forced the Emperor to step down

The Russian Emperor and Grand Duke of Finland Nicholas II abdicated on 15 March 1917. His brother Grand Duke Mikhail refused to accept the crown. A committee set up by the Duma started to govern Russia. People began calling the committee the provisional government. The new government was chaired by Prince Georgy Lvov. The change […]

Refugees in a difficult position

By 1922, some 42,000 refugees had arrived in Finland, including about 25,000 Ingrians and East-Karelians, the remaining 17,000 being Russians. About half of them, 8,000, were Kronstadt refugees who had revolted against Soviet Russia. They had fled across the ice-covered sea and arrived in Terijoki in early spring 1921. By 1929, almost 25,000 refugees had […]

10,000 Finns participated in the Kinship Wars

In 1918–1922, Finnish volunteers participated in the efforts of Finnic peoples to break away from Russia. These conflicts, called in Finnish “heimosodat” (literally translated “Kinship Wars”), took place in Viena (1918), Aunus (1919) and Petsamo (1918 and 1920). Closely related to the Finnic wars was the involvement of Finnish volunteers in the Estonian War of […]

The Republic made peace with Soviet Russia

In 1919, a republican form of government regained popularity after the 1918 monarchy escapade. Next year, the country made peace with Soviet Russia. Starting from the autumn of 1918, Red prisoners were gradually released. In 1921, there were some 1,000 of them left in prison. The plans to make Finland a monarchy fell through as […]