5.12.2017

2017 Full hundred, 6.12. Täysi sata

The movement for Finland's independence started after the revolutions in Russia, caused by disturbances inside Russia from hardships connected to the First World War. 
                                 Nikolai II's visit to Helsinki, 10.3.1915.

This gave Finland an opportunity to withdraw from Russian rule. 
After several disagreements between the non-socialists and the social-democrats over who should have the power in Finland, on 4 December 1917, the Senate of Finland, led by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, finally made a Declaration of Independence which was adopted by the Finnish parliament two days later.

Independence Day was first celebrated in 1917. However, during the first years of independence, 6 December in some parts of Finland was only a minor holiday compared to 16 May, the Whites' day of celebration for prevailing in the Finnish Civil War. The left parties would have wanted to celebrate 15 November, because the people of Finland (represented by parliament) took power 15 November 1917. 
When a year had passed since declaration of independence, 6 December 1918, the academical people celebrated the day.
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Starting in 1809 and up to independence, Finland formed an autonomous grand duchy in the Russian Empire. This proved to be an important time for laying the societal and administrative groundwork that allowed the Finns to break with Russia in 1917. Before 1809, the area that is now Finland had been under Swedish rule since at least the 13th century.

After the February Revolution and the abdication of Grand Duke Nicholas II on 2 March (15 March N.S.) 1917, the personal union between Russia and Finland lost its legal base – at least according to the view in Helsinki. There were negotiations between the Russian Provisional Government and Finnish authorities.


           Finland Grand Duchy and the Russian border (river, the border-river)
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The Finnish Declaration of Independence (Russian: Провозглcykablyatние независимости Финляндии; Finnish: Suomen itsenäisyysjulistus; Swedish: Finlands självständighetsförklaring) was adopted by the Parliament of Finland on 6 December 1917. 

It declared Finland an independent nation, among nations ending its autonomy within Russia as its Grand Duchy of Finland, with reference to a simultaneously delivered bill to the Diet to make Finland an independent republic instead.
Declaring the independence was only part of the long process leading to the independence of Finland.

With reference to the declaration of 15 November, the declaration says:
The people of Finland have by this step taken their fate in their own hands; a step both justified and demanded by present conditions. 
The people of Finland feel deeply that they cannot fulfil their national and international duty without complete sovereignty. 
The century-old desire for freedom awaits fulfilment now; Finland's people step forward as a free nation among the other nations in the world. (...) 


The people of Finland dare to confidently await how other nations in the world recognize that with their full independence and freedom, the people of Finland can do their best in fulfilment of those purposes that will win them a place amongst civilized peoples.
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                                      First free flight, 20.2.1918


                                              1919  Renault FT-17  


                          1918 Heavy Latil tractor and tank transportation carriage 
                                           And use 1941 - 1944, continue war
Heavy artillery battalion 14 (Armor Division) 1941 with 150 H / 40 (15 cm leFH 18)
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Squadron 26 (Sergeant Uuttu) shoot down enemy plane, to Bristol Bulldog fighter, day 12.01.1939, and these is Finnish Air Force's first air-victory.
He shoots down the Polikarpov I-16 aircraft. Honor him               

               Winter War, Major Bremer, Fokker XXI and his personal ID, Hearts-ace
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1939 Vickers 6 tn tank and Bofors 37 mm gun

                                           Stu III, 1944.
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                                                          Hawk


                                                            Hornet


                                                 Leobard 2A6

                                                         CV 90-30

                                                  BMB-2, updated 2030 versions

                                          K9, Heavy hammer...

                                    .... thump

        
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Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania declared their independence from Russia during the same period. See Estonian War of Independence, Latvian Independence and Lithuanian Wars of Independence.


These three countries were occupied by, and annexed into, the Soviet Union (1940-1941, 1944-1991), also Poland too. See Occupation of the Baltic states.

2.12.2017

Soviet-Russian (first) famine - 100 years from the Russian Revolution

The Russian (first)  famine of 1921–22, also known as Povolzhye famine, was a severe famine in Russia which began in early spring of 1921 and lasted through 1922. 
This famine killed an estimated 5 million, primarily affecting the Volga and Ural River regions.
                      American Doughboys 1918 Siberia
The famine resulted from combined effects of economic disturbance - which had already started during World War I, and continued through the disturbances of the Russian Revolution - and Russian Civil War with its policy of War Communism, especially prodrazvyorstka, exacerbated by rail systems that could not distribute food efficiently.

One of Russia's intermittent droughts in 1921 aggravated the situation to a national catastrophe. Hunger was so severe, it was doubtful that seed-grain would be sown rather than eaten. At one point, relief agencies had to give grain to railroad staff to get their supplies moved.
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Before the famine began, Russia had suffered six and a half years of World War I and the Civil Wars of 1918–20, many of the conflicts fought inside Russia
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Before the famine, all sides in the Russian Civil Wars of 1918–21 - the Bolsheviks, the Whites, the Anarchists, the seceding nationalities - had provisioned themselves by seizing food from those who grew it, giving it to their armies and supporters, and denying it to their enemies. The Bolshevik government had requisitioned supplies from the peasantry for little or nothing in exchange. This led peasants to drastically reduce their crop production. 
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According to the official Bolshevik position, which is still maintained by some modern Marxists, the rich peasants (kulaks) withheld their surplus grain to preserve their lives; statistics indicate that most of the grain and the other food supplies passed through the black market. The Bolsheviks believed peasants were actively trying to undermine the war effort. The Black Book of Communism asserts that Lenin ordered the seizure of the food peasants had grown for their own subsistence and their seed grain in retaliation for this "sabotage", leading to widespread peasant revolts. In 1920, Lenin ordered increased emphasis on food requisitioning from the peasantry.

Aid from outside Russia was initially rejected. The American Relief Administration (ARA), which Herbert Hoover formed to help the victims of starvation of World War I, offered assistance to Lenin in 1919, on condition that they have full say over the Russian railway network and hand out food impartially to all. Lenin refused this as interference in Russian internal affairs
                       American Doughboys 1918 Siberia

Lenin was eventually convinced—by this famine, the Kronstadt rebellion, large scale peasant uprisings such as the Tambov Rebellion, and the failure of a German general strike - to reverse his policy at home and abroad. He decreed the New Economic Policy on March 15, 1921. 

The famine also helped produce an opening to the West: Lenin allowed relief organizations to bring aid this time. War relief was no longer required in Western Europe, and the ARA had an organization set up in Poland, relieving the Polish famine which had begun in the winter of 1919–20. Some peasants resorted to cannibalism.

A couple sell body parts, including a human head and the corpse of a child, during the Russian famine

International relief effort
Although no official request for aid was issued, a committee of well-known people without obvious party affiliations was allowed to set up an appeal for assistance. In July 1921, the writer Maxim Gorky published an appeal to the outside world, saying that millions of lives were menaced by crop failure. 

At a conference in Geneva on 15 August organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the League of Red Cross Societies, the International Committee for Russian Relief (ICRR) was set up with Dr. Fridtjof Nansen as its High Commissioner. 


Nansen headed to Moscow, where he signed an agreement with Soviet Foreign Minister Georgy Chicherin that left the ICRR in full control of its operations. At the same time, fundraising for the famine relief operation began in earnest in Britain, with all the elements of a modern emergency relief operation - full-page newspaper advertisements, local collections, and a fundraising film shot in the famine area. By September, a ship had been despatched from London carrying 600 tons of supplies. The first feeding centre was opened in October in Saratov.

The main participants in the international relief effort were Hoover's American Relief Administration, along with other bodies such as the American Friends Service Committee and the International Save the Children Union, which had the British Save the Children Fund as the major contributor. 

Around ten million people were fed, with the bulk coming from the ARA, funded by the United States Congress; the European agencies co-ordinated by the ICRR fed two million people a day: the International Save the Children Union were feeding 375,000 in its centres at Saratov at the height of the operation. The operation was hazardous - several workers died of cholera - and was not without its critics, including the London Daily Express, which first denied the severity of the famine, and then argued that the money would better be spent on poverty in the United Kingdom.
                       Kuvahaun tulos haulle  Soviet food aid 1920
Throughout 1922 and 1923, as famine was still widespread and the ARA was still providing relief supplies, grain was exported by the Soviet government to raise funds for the revival of industry; this seriously endangered Western support for relief, and was one instance of a long-standing Soviet policy of valuing development above the lives of the peasantry. 

The new Soviet government insisted that if the AYA suspended relief, the ARA arrange a foreign loan for them of about $10,000,000 1923 dollars; the ARA was unable to do this, and continued to ship in food past the grain being sold abroad.
                        Kuvahaun tulos haulle How the U.S. saved a starving Soviet Russia
Death toll
As with other large-scale famines, the range of estimates is considerable. An official Soviet publication of the early 1920s concluded that about five million deaths occurred in 1921 from famine and related disease: this number is usually quoted in textbooks. More conservative figures counted not more than a million, while another assessment, based on the ARA's medical division, spoke of two million.

On the other side of the scale, some sources spoke of ten million dead. According to Betrand M. Patenaude, "such a number hardly seems extravagant after the many tens of millions of victims of war, famine, and terror in the twentieth century".
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The famine came at the end of six and a half years of unrest and violence (first World War I, then the two Russian revolutions of 1917, then the Russian Civil War). 
Many different political and military factions were involved in those events, and most of them have been accused by their enemies of having contributed to, or even bearing sole responsibility for, the famine.





Since 1922, Bolsheviks started a campaign of seizing church property. In 1922, over 4.5 million golden roubles of property were seized. Out of these, one million gold roubles were spent for famine relief. In a secret March 19, 1922 letter to the Politburo, Lenin expressed an intention to seize several hundred million golden roubles for famine relief.

In Lenin's secret letter to the Politburo, Lenin explains that the famine provides an opportunity against the church. Richard Pipes argued that the famine was used politically as an excuse for the Bolshevik leadership to persecute the Orthodox Church, which held significant sway over much of the peasant populace.

Russian anti-Bolshevik exiles in London, Paris, and elsewhere also used the famine as a media opportunity to highlight the iniquities of the Soviet regime in an effort to prevent trade with and official recognition of the Bolshevik Government.

National delimitation - 100 years from the Russian Revolution

Pre-1917 Russia was an imperial state, not a nation. In the 1905 Duma elections the nationalist parties received only 9 percent of all votes. 

The many non-Russian ethnic groups that inhabited the Russian Empire were classified as inorodtsy, or aliens.
After the February Revolution, attitudes in regards to this topic began to change. 

For instance, in early 1917, a Socialist Revolutionary publication called Delo Naroda, No. 5 called for Russia to be transformed into a federal state along the lines of the United States of America. Specifically, separate constituent units inside of this federal state would be created for the various regions and ethnic groups of Russia (such as Little Russia, Georgia, Siberia, and Turkestan).




The Soviet Russia that took over from the Russian Empire in 1917 was not a nation-state, nor was the Soviet leadership committed to turning their country into such a state. In the early Soviet period, even voluntary assimilation was actively discouraged, and the promotion of the national self-consciousness of the non-Russian populations was attempted. 

Each officially recognized ethnic minority, however small, was granted its own national territory where it enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy, national schools, and national elites. A written national language (if it had been lacking), national language planning, native-language press, and books written in the native language came with the national territory.

The attitudes towards many ethnic minorities changed dramatically in the 1930s–1940s under the leadership of Joseph Stalin (despite his own Georgian ethnic roots) with the advent of a repressive policy featuring abolition of the national institutions, ethnic deportations, national terror, and Russification (mostly towards those with cross-border ethnic ties to foreign nation-states in the 1930s or compromised in the view of Stalin during the Great Patriotic War in the 1940s), although nation-building often continued simultaneously for others.

After the establishment of the Soviet Union within the boundaries of the former Russian Empire, the Bolshevik government began the process of national delimitation and nation building, which lasted through the 1920s and most of the 1930s. The project attempted to build nations out of the numerous ethnic groups in the Soviet Union. Defining a nation or politically conscious ethnic group was in itself a politically charged issue in the Soviet Union. 
In 1913, Stalin, in his work Marxism and the National Question, which subsequently became the cornerstone of the Soviet policy towards nationalities, defined a nation as "a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological makeup manifested in a common culture".

Many of the subject nationalities or communities in the Russian Empire did not fully meet these criteria. Not only cultural, linguistic, religious and tribal diversities made the process difficult but also the lack of a political consciousness of ethnicity among the people was a major obstacle to this process. Still, the process relied on the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, adopted by the Bolshevik government on 15 November 1917, immediately after the October Revolution, which recognized equality and sovereignty of all the peoples of Russia; their right for free self-determination, up to and including secession and creation of an independent state; freedom of religion; and free development of national minorities and ethnic groups on the territory of Russia.
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Republics of Russia.png


  1. Adygea
  2. Altai
  3. Bashkortostan
  4. Buryatia
  5. Dagestan
  6. Ingushetia
  7. Kabardino-Balkaria
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The Soviet Union (or more formally USSR – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was established in 1922 as a federation of nationalities, which eventually came to encompass 15 major national territories, each organized as a Union-level republic (Soviet Socialist Republic or SSR). 

All 15 national republics, created between 1917 and 1940, had constitutionally equal rights and equal standing in the formal structure of state power. The largest of the 15 republics – Russia – was ethnically the most diverse and from the very beginning it was constituted as the RSFSR – the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, a federation within a federation.




The Russian SFSR was divided in the early 1920s into some 30 autonomous ethnic territories (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics – ASSR and autonomous oblasts – AO), many of which exist to this day as ethnic republics within the Russian Federation. There was also a very large number of lower-level ethnic territories, such as national districts and national village soviets. The exact number of ASSR and AO varied over the years as new entities were created while old entities switched from one form to another, transformed into Union-level republics (e.g., Kazakh and Kyrgyz SSR created in 1936, Moldovan SSR created in 1940), or were absorbed into larger territories (e.g., Crimean ASSR absorbed into the RSFSR in 1945 and Volga German ASSR absorbed into RSFSR in 1941).

The first population census of the USSR in 1926 listed 176 distinct nationalities. Eliminating excessive detail (e.g., four ethnic groups for Jews and five ethnic groups for Georgians) and omitting very small ethnic groups, the list was condensed into 69 nationalities. 

These 69 nationalities lived in 45 nationally delimited territories, including 16 Union-level republics (SSR) for the major nationalities, 23 autonomous regions (18 ASSR and 5 autonomous oblasts) for other nationalities within the Russian SFSR, and 6 autonomous regions within other Union-level republics (one in Uzbek SSR, one in Azerbaijan SSR, one in Tajik SSR, and three in Georgian SSR).
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Despite the general policy of granting national territories to all ethnic groups, several nationalities remained without their own territories in the 1920s and the 1930s. These included Poles, Bulgarians, Greeks, Hungarians, Gypsies, Uigurs, Koreans, and Gagauz (today the Gagauz live in a compact area in the south of Moldova, where they enjoy a measure of autonomy). 










The Volga Germans lost their national territory with the outbreak of World War II in 1941. The peoples of the North had neither autonomous republics nor autonomous oblasts, but since the 1930s they have been organized in 10 national okrugs, such as the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the Koryak Autonomous Okrug, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and others.

Besides national republics, oblasts, and okrugs, several hundred national districts (with populations between 10,000 and 50,000) and several thousand national townships (population 500 to 5,000) were established. In some cases this policy required voluntary or forced resettlement in both directions to create a compact population. Ethnic left immigration and the return of non-Russian émigrés to the Soviet Union during the New Economic Policy, albeit perceived as an easy cover for espionage, were not discouraged and proceeded quite actively, contributing to nation-building.

Soviet fear of foreign influence gained momentum from sporadic ethnic guerilla uprisings along the entire Soviet frontier throughout the 1920s. The Soviet government was particularly concerned about the loyalty of the Finnish, Polish, and German populations.

However, in July 1925 the Soviet authorities felt secure enough and in order to project Soviet influence outwards, exploiting cross-border ethnic ties, granted national minorities in the border regions more privileges and national rights than those in the central regions. This policy was implemented especially successfully in the Ukrainian SSR, which at first indeed succeeded in attracting the population of Polish Kresy. However, some Ukrainian communists claimed neighboring regions even from the Russian SFSR
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National delimitation in the Soviet Union refers to the process of creating well-defined national territorial units (Soviet socialist republics – SSR, autonomous Soviet socialist republics – ASSR, autonomous oblasts (provinces), raions (districts) and okrugs) from the ethnic diversity of the Soviet Union and its subregions. The Russian term for this Soviet state policy is razmezhevanie (Russian: национально-территориальное размежевание, natsionalno-territorialnoye razmezhevaniye), which is variously translated in English-language literature as national-territorial delimitation, demarcation, or partition. 
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National delimitation is part of a broader process of changes in administrative-territorial division, which also changes the boundaries of territorial units, but is not necessarily linked to national or ethnic considerations. National delimitation in the Soviet Union is distinct from nation-building (Russian: национальное строительство), which typically refers to the policies and actions implemented by the government of a national territorial unit (a nation state) after delimitation. In most cases national delimitation in the Soviet Union was followed by korenizatsiya.
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