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110 years ago they tried to create a state within a state on Russian territory – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: April 14, 2024 Time: 19:37:32

The loss of a major industrial zone and fleet in Kronstadt would paralyze the Bolsheviks. Having leveled the conquests of Peter the Great and significantly weakened Russia, regardless of who won: the whites or the reds.

First reaction: this can’t be true. How could little Finland risk attacking big Russia? Ridiculous, funny, reckless, crazy.

I agree, there are reasons for skepticism. Finland was still part of the Russian Empire in 1918. Lenin liberated the Finns, but immediately began helping the Finnish Bolsheviks seize power. A war broke out in Finland between reds and whites. How to imagine this? And remember the most terrible scenes from the films about the Civil War. And multiply it by two: everything was worse on Finnish soil.

It is logical to assume that the Finns had no time for the mythical Ingermanland: they would have to take care of their own country. However, the intelligence services reported accurately: such a project existed. I will say more, it was realistic.

Professional historians do not like the subjunctive mood. I have one advantage: I am not a historian. And I would venture to boldly state that, under certain circumstances, Ingria could appear on the political map of the world. It wouldn’t last long though. The Red Army, which had raised its biceps in battle, would have put an end to the suffering of this geographical misunderstanding. But the Civil War ended three years later: in 1922. In 1919 we had no troops to defend Saint Petersburg. And the enemies have it in abundance. Karl Mannerheim could deploy up to 100,000 bayonets. The Whites negotiated with the Entente, which had 45 million soldiers under arms. The First World War is over, the enemies have capitulated. Maybe we could have repelled the Finnish attacks. But it is unlikely due to the millions of Entente landings.

Beautiful land

What is Ingria? An ancient land in the northwest of Russia, whose borders have changed many times, depending on the era. The concept of “borders” in this case is conditional, because it has never been a state. Which is not surprising, because… it was inhabited by Finno-Ugric tribes. In ancient times they were distinguished by their desire to change places. For example, they were the first inhabitants of Kremlin Hill. They built fortifications and prayed to their pagan gods. Appeared suddenly, disappeared without a trace. It’s mystical, but that’s what happened with the settlement in the Kremlin: they just took it and disappeared.

Ingria is an ancient territory in northwestern Russia. Andrei Sdobnikov. /Wikipedia

They certainly did not create states and did not even bother to create a written language. Even the origin of the name Ingria is unclear. There are many versions: both with the name of some fairy tale princess, or next to the Izhora River (you will break your tongue: Inkerinjoki). The word “land” (“land”) was later invented by the Swedes. And the ending “ya” is definitely from the Russians.

And some people see German in the word Ingermanland. Although German settlers arrived here almost later than the others: in the 17th century. Perhaps the most realistic version is the Finnish inkeri maa (“beautiful land”). Which says a lot about the ancient Finns’ extraordinary sense of humor. Today everything is fine here, but in the old days there were problems and swamps. Only the mystical swamps of Veps are worth it.

If we do not delve into the mysticism of ancient ethnic groups and legends, then the history of the region can be presented in a simplified manner. Initially, this is a Finno-Ugric land under the rule of Veliky Novgorod. It was then conquered by the Livonian Order. His knights fought against the paganism of the Sami, Vods, Izhorians and other tribes, planting the faith of Christ. Sweden ruled Ingermanland for a long time, until Peter I conquered it.

If you “place” Ingria on a modern map, it will end up in the Leningrad region, plus a small portion in Estonia. Before the revolution, the name was popular: regiments and ships were named in its honor. And the previous name of the province of St. Petersburg was Ingria.

Who needs you

Why was it necessary to fence this strange garden, to create a state incomprehensible with Finnish bayonets? Or, as a worse option for us, with the bayonets of the Entente. On behalf of the “supreme ruler of Russia”, Admiral Kolchak, negotiations with Baron Mannerheim were led by General Yudenich (Kolchak’s representative in Paris). Kolchak generally supported the Ingermanlandia project. The question arises: how did the Russian generals and admirals admit the idea of ​​grouping the indivisible great Russia into some states?

The mysterious Baron Karl Mannerheim: Hitler gave him an exclusive Mercedes and Stalin saved him from execution. Photo: rooney.rf

But they didn’t allow it. It was Lenin who gave independence to Finland. But the monarchist commanders did not allow the Finns to leave the empire anywhere. That is, if Denikin (Wrangel, Kutepov, etc.) had taken Moscow, Finnish independence would have come to an end. According to the Whites’ plan, Ingermanland would also be part of Russia, like an autonomous Finland. The elite of the Finnish army sensed a trap. Furthermore, Baron Mannerheim, although he proved to be an excellent commander on the side of the Finns, was essentially a Russian general. In 1919 he was 52 years old. Of them, he served only one year in Finland and more than 30 years in the Russian Empire.

Rich biography: saved the reputation of Nicholas II during the coronation: the tsar dropped his saber, Mannerheim managed to catch it. It seems like a small thing, but those things were given enormous importance. Participant in the Russo-Japanese and First World Wars. I crossed paths with Semyon Budyonny in the hills of Manchuria (both would later become marshals). According to rumors, in 1924 he secretly arrived in Leningrad and, after standing in line in the cold, visited Lenin’s mausoleum.

He knew eight languages, but he did not learn Finnish. (The national hero of Finland did not know the language of his country!) He was a friend of Hitler, accepted expensive gifts from him: Mercedes and all-terrain vehicles. He reciprocated with an invention: once he flew to Berlin and gave the Führer… a Suomi submachine gun. Hitler had enough weapons, but he accepted Suomi. And the next day, as the Minister of Armaments of the German Reich, Albert Speer, describes in his memoirs, Hitler suddenly disappeared. We managed to find him at the shooting range, Adolf was selflessly hitting targets.

In reality, this is pure surrealism: Hitler fires with a machine gun, and Mannerheim and the entire top of the Third Reich wait patiently. But in this case Speer can be trusted. At times, Hitler tried to convince those around him that he was not a staff rat, but a combat corporal. And he had special feelings for Mannerheim: in the middle of the war he could fly to Karl in Helsinki to celebrate his birthday.

In fact, for that alone Mannerheim could have ended up on the Nuremberg gallows. In 1945, Stalin was given a list of war criminals to sign. Karl Mannerheim was on the list. Stalin took a red pencil and… crossed it out.

Maybe there is something we don’t know about Karl Mannerheim. Although if we ask the question bluntly: where is the Baron now?, then I am on the side of those who are safe: in hell. For Leningrad, for the blockade of it. And there will be no forgiveness.

Admiral Kolchak – cinema does not always rightly idealize him, but he certainly did not trade with Russian lands. Photo: University of Pennsylvania

the war is canceled

But in 1919, the elite of the Finnish army could not know its future. Hitler was nobody then, and even before the “winter war” with the USSR, no matter who provoked it, two decades passed. The question was: should we go to St. Petersburg, should we create Ingria? Mannerheim maintained an intense correspondence with Kolchak, asking him for guarantees of independence. But not in direct text, but in transparent suggestions. I will translate your correspondence from diplomatic language to human language. Mannerheim: If we go to St. Petersburg, will you recognize our independence? Kolchak – you are a Russian general, you yourself understand everything.

The Russian general and Swedish baron Karl Mannerheim understood everything correctly. And he didn’t go anywhere.

But history took its own course. According to the best option (for us and the Finns).

I won’t try to be clever and draw philosophical historical parallels. I’m just dreaming out loud: if everything were like this in the future.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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