Winter campaign in Karelia in 1921/22 years

Karelians the people of Finnish tribe. Of all Finnish tribes Karelians were always considered as the most original people. They, earliest inhabitants of the region, during several centuries lived side by side with the Russians, learned in the Russian schools, prayed in the Russian temples, read the Russian books, they were governed by Russians, had in the region Russian establishments so forth in recent years, to "October", the policy of "Russification" a Karelian acquired even active and universal nature. In 1907 was based the so-called "Orthodox Karelian Brotherhood, in the name of the martyr Georgiy Pobedonosests1", set as its goal strengthening of the influence of clergy, amplifying the influence of Russian school and propagation of Russian books among the Karelian. Despite, however, the strong pressure of Russian clericalism and chauvinism, Karelians did not lose their national appearance and national features and did not disappear from face of the earth, as this happened to other Finnish tribes (Mer', Ves'2, etc.). Karelian people are characterized by great tendency toward poetry. The most beautiful peoples poems, which arose many centuries ago, live until this time in Karelia, being transferred by people from the mouths to the mouths. It is established that Karelia is the native land of the most remarkable Finnish epos Of "kalevala". This work consists of 22 000 verses and it narrates about the life and the exploits of the Finnish heroes, most remarkable of whom are Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen. In "kalevala" find their reflection all those beliefs and features of the ideologies, which were characteristic of the Finnish national character 12 centuries ago.

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Besides Russians and Karelian, in the south-western shore of Lake Onega lives even not numerous Finnish tribe – chud'2.

It is possible to consider diligence, honesty, the characteristic property of Finnish tribes, which populate Karelia, but, from other side, in them is inherent another quality: these are obstinate and closure. Almost all inhabitants are outstanding hunters and good shooters. All the population skis well.

Konstantin Sokolov-Strakhov
Staff OF RKKA3, administration for study and use of experience of wars, 1927

  1. St. George Victory Bringer.
  2. Vepsa.
  3. Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

Translated by Sudhir Raghav, 2006