Robert Service

Putin only has himself to blame for the end of Finlandisation

A statue of Tsar Alexander II, Helsinki (photo: Alamy)

Joseph Stalin knew better than Vladimir Putin. After world war two, as the Cold War began, the Soviet dictator took the view that it was more trouble than it was worth to invade Finland again, as he had done with humiliating setbacks in the Winter War of 1939-1940.

Too many parents or grandparents of those in the Finnish audience had died in the 1939-1940 war for suspicion of Russia to have faded

And so the Finns were spared the fate of Poles, Hungarians, Bulgarians and other peoples of eastern and central Europe who were occupied and then communised.

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Written by
Robert Service

Robert Service is Emeritus Professor of Russian History, St Antony's College Oxford and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His next book, Blood on the Snow, on the Great War and the Russian Revolution, is out in November.

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