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Suomen kansanvaltainen tasavalta
Demokratiska Republiken Finland
Finnish Democratic Republic
Puppet state of Soviet Union

Capital Terijoki
Government Socialist republic
Chairman¹ Otto Ville Kuusinen
Historical era World War II
 - Established 1 December 1939
 - Disestablished 12 March 1940
¹ Chairman of the Supreme Soviet and head of government
Vyacheslav Molotov signing a deal between the USSR and the Finnish Democratic Republic

The Finnish Democratic Republic (Finnish: Suomen kansanvaltainen tasavalta, Swedish: Demokratiska Republiken Finland) was a short-lived government dependent on, and recognised only by, the Soviet Union. It operated in those parts of Finnish Karelia that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War. The regime was also known under the name of the Terijoki Government (Finnish: Terijoen hallitus), as Terijoki was the first town to be "liberated" by the Red Army. The Soviet Union argued that it was the only rightful government for all of Finland that was capable of ending the Winter War and restoring peace. However, before the end of the war, the Soviets gave up this interpretation to make peace with the Republic of Finland's government.


Winter War

The Finnish Democratic Republic was established on 1 December 1939 in the Finnish border town of Terijoki (now Zelenogorsk, Russia). During its lifespan Otto Ville Kuusinen was chairman and head of government. The cabinet was made up of Soviet citizens, leftist Finns who had fled to Soviet Russia after the Finnish Civil War.[1]

The Soviet government entered into diplomatic relations with the "people's government". In the first day of its existence, the regime agreed to lease the Hanko Peninsula; to cede a slice of territory on the Karelian Isthmus; and to sell an island in the Gulf of Finland, along with sections of the Kalastajasaarento near the Arctic Ocean.[1]

The reaction of the Finns was the opposite of what the Soviets had hoped. Not only was the puppet regime the laughing stock of the world, but it united Finns even more closely. The ploy gave the Finns no choice but to fight, if they wished to continue to exist as an independent and democratic state.[1]

On 12 March 1940, it was merged with the Karelian ASSR within the RSFSR to form the Karelo-Finnish SSR, a Soviet republic in its own right, after Finland had ceded the areas to the Soviet Union in the Moscow Peace Treaty.

Mutual Assistance Agreement and Secret Protocol

Kuusinen and the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov signed the Mutual Assistance Agreement and a secret protocol on 2 December 1939. The content of the agreement was very similar to what the Soviet foreign ministry had planned earlier in October 1939, though it never was presented to the Finnish government. The new agreement had few expections, as now the Soviet Union would cede a much larger area, the Eastern Karelia, except Murmansk railroad. Otherwise the Finnish Democratic Republic would cede the same areas that the Soviets had demanded in earlier negotiations from the legal Finnish government.[2]

The agreement was signed in Moscow, as ten days earlier draft, the signature location would be Käkisalmi and the Soviet signer Andrei Zhdanov. The Molotov–Kuusinen agreement mentioned leasing the Hanko Peninsula, and determining the number of troops to be appointed in a separate agreement. However, before the 1990s historians only speculated its existence and content. Finally in 1997, during the Finno-Russian project, the Russian professor Oleg Rzesevski found the protocol in the Moscow Kremlin. The content is quite similar to protocols the Soviet Union signed with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in September–October 1939.[3]

Terijoki Government

Minister In office
Chairman and Foreign minister
Otto Wille Kuusinen

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Co-chairman and Finance minister
Mauritz Rosenberg

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Defence minister
Akseli Anttila

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Minister of Internal affairs
Tuure Lehén

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Minister of Agriculture
Armas Äikiä

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Minister of Education
Inkeri Lehtinen

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3
Minister of Karelian Affairs
Paavo Prokkonen

1939.2.12 – 1940.12.3

See also




  1. ^ a b c Eagle & Paananen 1985, p. 26
  2. ^ Manninen 2002, pp. 25–26
  3. ^ Manninen 2002, pp. 27–28


  • Engle, Eloise; Paananen, Lauri (1985). The Winter War: The Russo-Finno Conflict, 1939–40. Boulder, Colorado, United States: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0149-1.  
  • Manninen, Ohto (2002) (in Finnish). Stalinin kiusa – Himmlerin täi. Helsinki: Edita. ISBN 951-37-3694-6.  


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