Skip to main content

Forgotten war crimes – Soviet Partisans murder and rape Finnish civilians

The Kinnunen brothers, 14 years old Eino and two years younger Väinö were expecting the 6th of June in 1943 to be another boring day in a long line of similar summer days, spent working and playing in their family farm in the eastern Kainuu.

Victims of the Viianki partisan raid 

Eino was running some errands for his father outside the farm, when a group of armed men grabbed his shoulder. Eino was brutally interrogated by the commander of the Soviet partisan unit about the presence of Finnish soldiers in the village. After receiving confirmation that there were no soldiers in the village the Partisans shot the fourteen-year-old twice to the back with a rifle and left him to die in a pool of his own blood.

At the same time the rest of the 14 members of his extended family were in the family sauna, where they were living after their homestead was burned during the 1939-40 Winter War. Minutes later the door of the Sauna was kicked in and 17 Russian partisans stepped in. The leader of the group shook hands with each of the civilians and then left.

Väinö realized that things weren’t right and pushed his 6-year-old sister Elsa into a nook beneath the benches and jumped down on his face to the floor. Seconds later a sub-machine-gun sprayed death from the doorway. Little Elsa had climbed to search for her mom and died on the floor together with ten of her family members.

“The poor little girl was full of holes” Väinö recollected 76 years later in an interview. Väinö got hit from wooden splinters ripped by the bullets but was otherwise well. Another one of his family members survived unscathed and two were seriously wounded.

11-year-old wounded victim of a Partisan attack

Meanwhile Eino, shot through both of his lungs, had managed to crawl to a nearby country road and lay there for 6 hours before a boy from the next farm noticed him and fetched help. Eino was airlifted by the Finnish Air-Force into a field hospital. The silver lining is that both boys are still alive and participated in the Finnish Independence Day reception by the President in 2019.

In the Soviet and Russian canon the Partisans are by far the most revered myth. The heroic struggle against the Nazi invaders is presented in the dozens of parades across Russia every year. But the myth is not only inflated, but also in some regards completely falsified. The brave partisans choose to rape and murder innocent civilians instead of facing soldiers.

The romantic image of the partisans hides war crimes and cowardice

The USSR conducted at least 45 terrorist attacks against Finnish civilians living in the undefended villages along the border areas. At least 181 civilians were killed in the attacks. The Soviet Partisans weren’t officially part of the Red Army, as the forces were led by the Communist Party and the NKVD. They also weren’t partisans in the sense of the forces down south,that were fighting within occupied territories. These units were trained and equipped in Soviet territory and conducted short raids into Finland. The troops were stationed in Belomorsk and never managed to establish a base of operations within in Finland.

The Finnish counter partisan activity was conducted mainly via tracking the murderers with small Finnish “Sissi” units. Soviet partisans suffered heavy casualties when ever they encountered actual Finnish combat units. Undoubtedly the most notable commander of the units chasing the partisans was Lauri Törni, who later, under the name Larry Thorne, fought as a US Army Green Beret in Vietnam.

Probably the worst partisan attack against the Finnish civilians happened in 7th of July in 1944 at the village of Seitajärvi. The village was protected by a detachment of few over-aged riflemen and the Soviet partisan unit numbered in dozens. Some of the Finnish civilians managed to escape to the forests and made their way into the neighboring villages, who then alerted the nearest Finnish army outpost by phone.

A Finnish army detachment was sent immediately to Seitajärvi, but they were too late. When the soldiers arrived they found 11 women and children slaughtered with bullets, rifle butts and bayonets. The dead women had their skirts pulled up and the soldiers who witnessed the killing field were convinced that they had been raped. The youngest children killed in the attack was a few months old babygirl named Ritva, smashed casually with a rifle. An 8-year-old girl survived the attack, after playing dead when a Soviet partisan had pierced her with his bayonet.

The Soviets captured three prisoners, but soon after executed them by shooting. The partisan band then tried to return to the Soviet territory. The Finnish soldiers from detachment Sau, led by a Mannerheim Cross knight Olavi Alakulppi were determined to catch them.

Olavi Alakulppi and his platoon hunting partisans 

Olavi Alakulppi is another legend among men, he was world champion skier, who led a special forces detachments in both Winter War and Continuation War. After the war he was wanted by the USSR, so he moved to the USA, joined the US Army, fought in Korea, trained special forces and used Elvis Presley as his driver when stationed in Germany and retired as a Lt.Col.

Alakulppi’s team force marched across the wilderness and managed to ambush the fleeing partisans killing dozens of them, but some managed to escape as the Finnish unit was significantly smaller. The raid on Seitajärvi haunted Alakulppi for the rest of his days and he tried to seek justice for the victims via the UN while serving in the US Army.

Too much for Google
Young victims of the Seitajärvi massacre

Running a terror campaign against innocent civilians must have had an effect on the careers of the people who ran it, even in a communist dictatorship like the USSR? Indeed, it did.

The Komsomol officer responsible of the attacks was Yuri Andropov, who would later on rise to lead the KGB and then the whole Soviet Union. The same Andropov whose plaque in Sant Petersburg was reinstated by Vladimir Putin as one of his first acts after rising to power.


  1. This is my first visit here and I am really impressed by reading the information content you provided. It is very unique and useful. assignment writing service

  2. Hello there I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Bing for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), usamagazine writersevoke pathofex oftenit dsnews I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  3. Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting.

  4. i was lost with no hope for my wife was cheating and had always got away with it because i did not know how or

    always too scared to pin anything on her. with the help a friend who recommended me to who help hack her phone,

    email, chat, sms and expose her for a cheater she is. I just want to say a big thank you to

    SUPERIOR.HACK@GMAIL.COM . am sure someone out there is looking for how to solve his relationship problems, you can also contact him for all sorts of hacking job..he is fast and reliable. you could also text +1 213-295-1376(whatsapp) contact and thank me later

  5. I feel so sorry about this. It is very painful to hear such kind of news. I am a very sensitive person though the passion I have to opt for makes me such things. I am becoming a lawyer and I have seen such cases of humans killed brutality. I have this essay given by my teacher on “Civilians killed brutality” and for this essay, I’ll be needing the top law essay writers UK to give their best and I have these guidelines that you must follow.

  6. I found this while I was looking for an online writing website to Buy Dissertation and I am shocked to my core. The amount of brutality that was reported in this article has taken out all the life force from me. I used to think my life was difficult and I am after reading this I can’t imagine how horrible things were for these people.

  7. It's both lovely and meaningful. It's a fantastic blog. Linking is a very valuable tool. You have aided a large number of individuals that read your blog by providing them with important knowledge.
    Digital Marketing Services

  8. Reading horoscopes is something I enjoy doing. To me, it's more of a pastime. In the morning, I read my horoscope for the day before commencing work for the Hire Digital media marketing service in USA. It simply relaxes me greatly. And there are still a lot of individuals in the world who don't believe in horoscopes - I'll never understand why!!

  9. This is a really useful piece of knowledge. I appreciate you sharing this mind-blowing knowledge with us. Please keep us updated in this manner.
    Source: Tiled Roof restoration near me

  10. It's both lovely and meaningful. It's a fantastic blog. Linking is a very valuable tool. You have aided a large number of individuals that read your blog by providing them with important knowledge.
    Source: best fluorescent highlighters 3 pack

  11. Thanks for sharing.I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one.
    Source: cheapest driving school point cook

  12. It's heartbreaking to hear such news. I am a very sensitive person, despite the fact that my passion causes me to be so. I'm studying to be a lawyer, and I've seen such cases of people being brutally murdered.

  13. Best Resort: Step into Paradise Haven Resort, where luxury and tranquility unite. Immerse yourself in breathtaking ocean views, pamper in world-class amenities, and delight in unmatched hospitality. Your ultimate escape awaits at Paradise Haven Resort. white musk resort

  14. It's truly disheartening to learn about forgotten war crimes like these. History should never overlook the suffering of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. On a lighter note, chris martin jacket in this context reminds us of the importance of keeping memories alive, even when it comes to fashion choices. Let's hope for a world where such atrocities are never repeated, and where our clothing choices make a statement for peace and remembrance.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick guide to identifying the Russian tanks Part 1: Updated Dec. 2021

  As most of the western nations have reduced their inventories to a few or mostly one type of main battle tank model in their active inventories, the myriad of tank platforms and distinct versions employed by the Russian armed forces may feel overwhelming. Here is a quick guide to identifying Russian MBTs. When you come across an image (or the actual thing), follow the steps to identify it properly. Updated 15.12.2021: T-90 modifications Family of the tank Russian Armed Forces currently operates, or at least storage, the following tank platforms/families: -            T-55 (<2000 in storage) -            T-62 (2000 in storage) -            T-64 (2000 in storage) -            T-72 (2000 active duty, 8000 in storage) -            T-80 (2000 active duty, 5000 in storage) -            T-90 (350 active duty, 600  in storage) -            T-14 (20 in field testing) So how can you identify what type of a tank are you looking at? There are two features that can be used to distinguishing th

The Russian ”Tank Circus”

The Russian media has published several articles about the latest round of live fire drills by the Russian tank forces. The first brief mentions caught my attention as they described a new tank tactic based on the experiences of the Russian expeditionary force in Syria.  T-72B1 at Pogonovo (Photo: © RIA Novosti / Andrey Stanavov) The details about the new tactic were scarce but there were mentions of continuous movement and a steady barrage of main gun fire. On 4th of July, the RIA published an in depth article about the 20th combined Arms Army’s field training of the new tactics (Translated to English by Sputnik ) The “Tank Carousel” is simply a drill in which a tanks of a formation, be it a platoon or a company, move around a set perimeter firing the from vantage points or openings in a berm and then move off to safety while another one moves in to the same spot to fire.  This does allow the unit to maintain sustained 125 mm tank gun fire at a target area. Another

Russian Tanks 2022: Thicker and Blinder

  Since the all out invasion of Ukraine the Russian army has lost at least 1700 tanks. This has caused the Russian army some supply problems, when they are re-forming their mauled units. Fighting has also revealed the need for upgrades on most of the Russian tank designs. The most obvious issues with the existing Russian tank fleet are the insufficient armor protection, the lack of reverse mobility and the vulnerability of the automatic loaders and their ammunition carousels. Although the last one has gifted us the sport of Turret Throwing. T-72B obr 2022 tanks Very little can be done for the mobility with the limitations of the existing transmissions and the autoloaders can’t really be replaced with better designs or human loaders either. The armor part on the other hand can be improved during the activation and refurbishment of the deep stored Soviet-era tanks. The first new design that appeared in the battlefield was an upgraded T-72B3 with additional armo,r mimicking the T-90M layo