Whites (Finland)

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The Whites (Finnish: Valkoiset, Swedish: De vita, Russian: Белофинны), or White Finland, was the name used to refer to the refugee government and forces under Pehr Evind Svinhufvud's first senate who opposed the "Reds", or the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, during the Finnish civil war (1918). The forces were initially formed and supported by the paramilitary White Guard, Jäger troops, and other recruitees and draftees, as well as the political right.[citation needed] Separatist-minded from Russia, the Jägers had left to Germany between 1914 and 1917 for military training and returned at eve of the civil war, many already as First World War veterans. They also received military support from the German Empire.

The Whites had no clear political aims in common, other than stopping the communist revolutionary Reds from taking power and returning to constitutional rule by the Senate (the government of the Grand Duchy of Finland) which was formed by the non-socialist parties of the Eduskunta (parliament) and returning to the Rule of Law. The provisional head of state of White Finland was Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, chairman of the senate at the time, and its military was commanded by Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.

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