Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
|Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic
Karjalais-Suomalainen sosialistinen neuvostotasavalta
Карело-Финская Советская Социалистическая Республика
"Kaikkien maiden proletaarit, liittykää yhteen!"
Anthem of Karelo-Finnish SSR
Location of the Karelo-Finnish SSR within the Soviet Union.
|-||SSR established||31 March 1940|
|-||Demoted to ASSR||16 July 1956|
|-||1959||172,400 km² (66,564 sq mi)|
|Density||3.8 /km² (9.8 /sq mi)|
The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic (Finnish: Karjalais-suomalainen sosialistinen neuvostotasavalta; Russian: Каре́ло-Фи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, tr. Karelo-Finskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), or Karelo-Finnish SSR (Finnish: Karjalais-suomalainen SNT; Russian: Каре́ло-Фи́нская ССР), was a short-lived republic that was a part of the former Soviet Union. It existed from 1940 until it was made part of the Russian SFSR in 1956 as the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (which became the Republic of Karelia, a federal subject of Russia, on November 13, 1991).
The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic was set up on March 31, 1940 by merging the KASSR with the Finnish Democratic Republic (created in territory ceded by Finland in the Winter War by the Moscow Peace Treaty, namely the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia, including the cities of Viipuri and Sortavala). The entire Karelian population of the ceded areas, about 422,000 people, was evacuated to Finland, and the territories were settled by people from other parts of the Soviet Union.
Creating a new Republic of the Union for an ethnic group that neither was large in absolute terms, nor constituted anything close to a majority in its territory, nor had been a separate independent nation prior to its incorporation into the USSR, was unprecedented in the history of the USSR. Some later historians explained the elevation of Soviet Karelia from an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (within the RSFSR) to a SSR by political reasons, as a "convenient means for facilitating the possible incorporation of additional Finnish territory" (or, possibly, the whole of Finland) into the USSR.
In the ensuing Continuation War, Finland re-annexed the territory that it had lost in 1940 and occupied most of the Karelian lands that had been within the USSR prior to 1940, including the capital Petrozavodsk (Petroskoi). In 1944, the Soviet Union recaptured the area. Soviet sovereignty was recognized by Finland in the Moscow Armistice and Paris Peace Treaty. The Finnish Karelians were evacuated to Finland again.
On July 16, 1956, the republic was incorporated into the Russian SFSR as the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. This move can perhaps be explained in the context of the general post-war improvement of Finno-Soviet relations, which also included such steps as the Soviets' return of the Porkkala Naval Base leased territory to full Finnish sovereignty (January 1956), and leasing Maly Vysotsky Island and the Soviet section of the Saimaa Canal (conquered by the USSR in 1940 and 1944) back to Finland (1963).
The abolition of the Karelian SSR in 1956 was the only case in the history of the USSR (1922–1991) of merging a member republic of the USSR into another republic.
The chairman of the Karelo-Finnish Supreme Soviet (1940–1956) was Finnish communist Otto Ville Kuusinen. In the republic there was also a separate Karelo-Finnish Communist Party led in the 1940s by G.N. Kupriyanov.
Yuri Andropov served for some years as the first secretary of the republic's Komsomol branch, the Leninist Communist Youth League of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic.
|Nikolai Sorokin||August 7, 1940 – ?|
|Adolf Taimi||April 15, 1947 – 1955|
Chairmen of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 
|Mark Vasilyevich Gorbachev||31 March 1940 – 11 July 1940|
|Otto Kuusinen||11 July 1940 – 16 July 1956|
Chairmen of the Council of People's Commissars (1946– Chairmen of the Council of Ministers) 
|I. P. Babkin (acting)||1940|
|Pavel Prokkonen||1940 – February 1947|
|Voldemar Virolainen||February 1947 – 24 February 1950|
|Pavel Prokkonen||1950 – 16 July 1956|
See also 
- Winter War
- Karelia (historical province of Finland)
- Karelian question in Finnish politics
- Republics of the Soviet Union
- Helin, Ronald Arthur (1961). Economic-geographic Reorientation in Western Finnish Karelia: A Result of the Finno-Soviet Boundary Demarcations of 1940 and 1944. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. p. 101.
- "Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev". Edited by Sergeĭ Khrushchev. Published by Penn State Press, 2007. ISBN 0-271-02332-5. Page 871 (biographic note on O. Kuusinen). On Google Books
- Taagepera, Rein (1999). The Finno-Ugric Republics and the Russian State. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 109. ISBN 1-85065-293-7.