The Tundra Tabloids was contacted by Vasarahammer about a radio report he heard the other day, concerning a period in Finnish history known as the, “Isoviha”, or the “Greater Wrath“. According to Wikipedia:
The Greater Wrath (Finnish: Isoviha Swedish: Stora ofreden) is a term used in Finnish history for the Russian invasion and subsequent military occupation of Eastern Sweden, now Finland, from 1714 until the treaty of Nystad 1721, which ended the Great Northern War, although sometimes the term is used to denote all of the Great Northern War.
After the victory at Isokyrö, Mikhail Golitsyn became governor of Finland. Finns began waging partisan warfare against the Russians. As retaliation, the Finnish peasants were forced to pay large contributions to the occupying Russians (as was the custom in that time). Plundering was widespread, especially in Ostrobothnia and in communities near the major roads. Churches were looted, Isokyrö was burned to the ground.
A scorched earth zone several hundred kilometers wide was burned to hinder Swedish counteroffensives. About 5,000 Finns were killed and some 10,000 taken away as slaves, of whom only a few thousand would ever return. Thousands, especially officials, also fled to the (relative) safety of Sweden. The poorer peasants hid in the woods to avoid the ravages of the occupiers and their press-gangs. Atrocities were at their worst between 1714-17 when the infamous Swedish Count Gustaf Otto Douglas, who had defected to the Russian side during the war, was in charge of the occupation.
Vasarahammer: “I heard about this in the radio and of the fact that during the 17th century Russian occupation tens of thousands of Finns were sold as slaves. There is an old Helsingin Sanomat Kuukausiliite piece about Finnish 18th century history concerning the period called the Isoviha. When Sweden collapsed as a major power, the Russians invaded and occupied Finland.
The Russians cossacks raped and looted especially in Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia) and took about 20 000 – 30 000 Finns as slaves to work in Russia. Some Finns were sold to the muslim tatars and there were Finnish slaves as far as Isfahan in Persia (Iran).
This part of history was never told at school. The period of Russian occupation between 1713 and 1721 was described but details of the brutality were not.”
The TT appreciates Vasarahammer’s informing us about this sad, dark period in Finnish history. Here’s something else that backs up Vasarahammer’s report. KGS
PeaceCountry: Burning, killing and looting, the armies under Moscow raped the land clean all the way to northern Savo province. So many Finnish slaves were rounded up that you could get one at the Moscow slave market for 10 – 15 kopeks.
NOTE: Perhaps this explains the Finnish tenacity shown during the Winter War with Stalin’s Soviet Union, having once been held in slavery by the Russians, the Finns knew exactly what lie ahead if their country fell.