Karelia: Russia and Finland re-create war in history festival

An international military historical festival is on today in Karelia, autonomy in Russia's northwest. Re-creating the Soviet-Finnish campaign of 1939/40, it involves researchers and military history clubs of Karelia, St. Petersburg and Finland, report PR of the republican government centre for historical and cultural monument protection.

The central event, a costume show that re-enacts one of the most dramatic winter campaign battles, is on its genuine site near Lake Kollasjärvi in the Suojärvi district. Wearing genuine Soviet and Finnish uniforms and armed with genuine weapons found on the battlefield years after, the participants are using extant fortifications of both belligerents.

Wreaths will be laid during the day on Soviet and Finnish soldier graves.

The festival is part of project "To the Two Sides of Lake Kollas: From the Past into the Present". The international endeavour means to attract public and administrative attention of Karelia and Finland to wartime fortifications. They deserve the status of historical monuments, insist club activists. To establish a Kollasjarvi military historical park-museum is their dream.

RIA Novosti – Northwest, March 21, 2004

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