The worsening relations between the Soviet Union and Finland took a more dangerous turn today after the Soviets shelled one of their own towns, and then blamed Finland.
Soviet shells rained down on Mainila, a Soviet town on the border with Finland. Seven shots were fired. Finland proposed a neutral investigation, but the Soviets would later refuse and break off relations with its neighbour.
Years later, the contents of Soviet party leader Andrei Zhdanov’s private archives revealed that the incident was manipulated to portray Finland as the aggressor and justify a military offensive. Finland refuted any involvement in the attacks, attributing them to Soviet artillery. The war diaries of nearby Finnish artillery batteries substantiate this claim, indicating that Mainila was beyond their range, as a precautionary measure to avoid such incidents.
The shelling was intentional, and was part of a ‘false flag’ operation. Such an operation is where one country attacks its own territory, sometimes using troops dressed as the enemy, and then uses the ‘attack’ to launch an invasion against the country it has accused. The Soviet Union will use this tactic to invade Finland in four days time.