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Russian-Finnish friendship won on the military history festival in Karelia

In Suojärvi district of Karelia traditional fourth military historical festival Karelian Borders. Kollasjärvi has taken place dated by the anniversary of the end of the Winter War.

Members of Petrozavodsk military history club Styag and their colleagues from Saint Petersburg have performed a fierce Soviet-Finnish fight near the lake of Kollasjarvi, as Interfax correspondent informs.

During the battle the Red army soldiers tried to take by storm fortified heights where were the Finnish huntsman dug in. During the last similar festivals military reconstructors dressed in the uniform of the Red army soldiers captured the height with ease, however this time deviation was made.

As the head of the military history club Styag Sergey Lapshov has explained, "this year among spectators there were many citizens of Finland, including veterans of the Winter War. Their presence has demanded from our reconstructors observance of political correctness."

"Except for it, - he continued, - the historical truth also demanded drawn result: in 1939-40 years the Red army stormed the fortified area of Kollasjärvi for a few months, but could not seize it up to the latest day of the Winter War."

By the end of the reconstructed fight local residents, the Finnish tourists and the Russian military historians have celebrated the end of the festival with a banquet at the field-kitchen.

Sergey Lapshov has declared that in the nearest years it is planned to create the first in the Northwest of Russia military historical museum park of Kollasjärvi devoted to the so-called Winter war of 1939-1940.

The festival itself is a part of the network project On Both Sides of Kollaa: From the Past to the Present. More than 500 spectators among which there wer students of Petrozavodsk higher educational institutions, schoolchildren from Petrozavodsk, Suojärvi, settlements of Loimola and Piitsojoki, and guests from Finland have taken part in it.

The basic purpose of the project is using military and historical potential of the Kollasjarvi complex for studying and popularization of events of the World War II as its territory is of significant interest from the point of view of military history and historical objects preservation.

Three times a year during the Soviet-Finnish war (1939-1940) and the Great Patriotic War (1941, 1944) fierce collisions of the Soviet and Finnish armies took place. Common and single graves, the remained rests of field strengthenings: entrenchments, trenches, tank ditches and obstacles, earth-houses, dugouts, and machine-gun jacks testify to bloody fights of Soviet, Finnish, and German soldiers.

INTERFAX NORTHWEST, March 22, 2004


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