Russia & Finland at war in 1919?

Episode 5 of Between 2 Wars Zeitgeist, 7:58 - 8:15 says yes, but I believe that’s incorrect. The Finnish civil war ended in May 1918 [you can still see bullet marks at the entrance of the National Museum in Helsinki]. The Winter War began in November 1939. Various nationalist movements in Karelia and Ingria between 1918 and 1922 had the support of Greater Finland nationalists, but not of the Helsinki government.

1 Like

The state between Finland and the bolshevik Russia (future USSR) was rather uncertain at the time. Direct action between Finnish state forces and the bolshevik forces did not occur (or rather any larger scale issues didn’t occur, smaller stuff did).

However the situation was only clarified in the Tartu treaty of 1920. Which is in Finnish known as “Tarton rauha” (Peace of Tartu). I don’t have access to the sources in question currently but fi-wiki (which is unreliable source but still) gives a sourced entry that the Finnish senate (government) determined that a state of war existed between Finland and (Soviet-)Russia at the beginning of April of 1918.

Apparently even that issue was rather muddled since the Soviet-Russia didn’t consider that there would have existed a state of war. Which kinda complicated the ‘peace negotiations’ since one side didn’t consider there to have been a state of war.