(Reuters) – Finland’s president on Saturday compared Russia’s current treatment of Ukraine to an attempt by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to threaten and divide Finland before invading in 1939.
“All what happens in Ukraine, all what happens in the Western world at the moment, reminds me of what happened in Finland,” President Sauli Niinisto told a security conference in Munich.
“Stalin thought that he will split the nation and it’s easy to go and invade Finland. Totally the opposite happened. People united, and we see the same in Ukraine.”
Finland, part of the Russian empire from 1809 to 1917, resisted an initial Soviet invasion in 1939. The Nordic country later sided with Nazi Germany for much of World War Two and lost a chunk of its pre-war territory to the Soviet Union in peace treaties afterwards.
During the Cold War, Finland was neutral between the West and the Soviet Union.
(Reporting by David Milliken)