DukeHumfreys 2







       Andrew Andersen / Oscar Engene 






An Attempt to Cecede and Join Finland (1918-1922)

In the aftermath of the Russian revolution and Finnish independence (December 1917), things started to happen in East Karelia too. On 17 March 1918 a meeting was convened in the village of Uhtua. The meeting expressed the wish to separate from Russia and called for union with Finland. Later in 1918 the Uhtua community used a flag consisting of a blue field with seven white five-pointed stars in the canton (representing the Ursa Major constellation). According to Paskov [pas94], the designer of this flag was J. Heiska.


Arms of East Karelia by Mikhail Medvedev


If you try to find Uhtua on a modern map, you will probably not find it. In 1935 the village was renamed Kalevala for the century of the publication of this work by Lönnrot. Much of the material for the Kalevala was collected in East Karelia.



http://www.fotw.ca/images/ru-kr_18.gif          http://www.fotw.ca/images/ru-ek20c.gif             http://www.fotw.ca/images/ru-ek20w.gif


The East Karelians were quickly caught in the middle of the struggles between red and white Russian forces, the intervention forces under the British and Finnish volunteer expeditions. The military situation changed quickly. However, the East Karelians worked to set up a government of their own.

In July 1919 a conference of delegates from White Sea Karelian parishes met in Uhtua and appointed an East Karelian Committee that acted as a provisional government of East Karelia. This provisional government organized the first East Karelian Diet, elected by universal suffrage and consisting of representatives from twelve municipalities (or parishes). The Diet sat from 21 March to 1 April 1920 in Uhtua and appointed a regular six-member government. On 22 March the diet called for independence from Russia and adopted arms and a flag. The flag and arms were designed by Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

(Click here to see postage stamps of Uhtua Karelia)


The short-lived attempt of East Karelian statehood was put to an end by Red Army operations of 1921-22 and the lack of sufficient international support of Karelian aspirations.





Below are the two Russian maps reflecting Karelian war of XII.1921-02.1922 from http://militera.lib.ru/h/hesin_ss/ill.html


война в карелии_1921


война в карелии_1922


Aunus Karelia


A short-lived government existed also for Aunus Karelia. The provisional government of Aunus was set up when Finnish volunteer forces advanced into the area in April 1919. An assembly was called and met in Rajakontu 5-6 June 1919. However, the Russian Bolsheviks quickly struck back and by 10 June the provisional government and the Finnish forces were back in Finland. That was the end of the Aunus government.



(Click here to see postage stamps of the short-lived Aunus Karelia)


Tver Karelia


After the peace between Russia and Sweden in 1617 gave much of the Kexholm/Käkisalmi province to Sweden, several thousands Orthodox Karelians left to be resettled in the Tver province northwest of Moscow. The 1926 census put the number of Tver Karelians to 140,000. In the 1930s a separate Tver Karelian language was established. A national area was set up in July 1937, but as the Soviet authorities changed their mind about the Tver Karelians, the national area was abolished in early 1939. A dramatic reduction in the population followed, and in the 1989 there were only 23,000 Tver Karelians left.