The Russian embassy and two NGOs held events on Tuesday to commemorate the Soviet victory in the Second World War, including one in Porkkala, on Finnish land occupied by the Soviet Union for ten years after the war. These were the first ever Victory Day parades held in Finland.

Russians in Finland organised Victory Day events on Tuesday commemorating a conflict in which Finland fought two separate wars against the Soviet Union, eventually losing 10 percent of its territory and the homes of 400,000 people.

Russians refer to the Second World War as the Great Patriotic War, while in Finland the conflict is divided into three separate wars: the Winter War in 1939-1940, in which Finland stopped a Soviet invasion, the Continuation War from 1941-1944 in which Finland joined Germany’s assault on the Soviet Union to regain lost territory, and the Lapland War in 1944-45 during which Finland pushed German forces out of the country.

One procession went from the Sibelius Monument to a Russian Orthodox church in Töölö, Helsinki, while another took place in Porkkala—a peninsula west of Helsinki that was leased to the Soviet Union as part of the peace terms after the war. The Russian embassy rented two buses to transport people to the Porkkala event.

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