Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner – Address – December 2, 1939 – Radio Finland to NBC – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Foreign Minister Vaino Tanner declared in a radio address to the United States that the Finnish nations independence and integrity could be destroyed by their eastern neighbor, Russia. He referred to the ruptured negotiations on the Russian territorial demands and declared that Russias invasion brought bitter disappointment, shared by the entire nation. Foreign Minister Tanner expressed the hope that Finland and Russia might yet return to peaceful relations but added: “Anyone who believes the Finnish can be brought, by threats of force, to make concessions that would mean the loss of liberty is mistaken”.
Meanwhile, at Kirkenes Norway, refugees said the Finns had recaptured Petsamo, their chief Arctic port, from the Russians after an all-night march in the snow.
A military communiqué reported the aggressors suffered heavy losses. “The enemy made several attempts to capture our positions but the troops have been able, in most cases to throw them back”. The hardest fighting of the day was at Suojarvi (about 50 miles north of Lake Ladoga on the Russian-Finnish border). The Finns said they withdrew from Jappinen, Maitonen, Sirklal, the island of Saaroinen and Terijokl. Terijoki was the town in which Tass, the official Russian news agency, reported a Finnish Peoples Government had been organized. Russia recognized the Terijokl government. A government spokesman described Otto Kuusinen, head of the soviet-recognized government as the so-called prime minister who lived for 20 years in Moscow as a traitor to the Finnish cause and at present was seeking revenge. Finnish artillery and anti-tank guns smashed at the invading Russian forces and many soviet tanks were said to have been destroyed earlier in the day in addition to the 36 previously reported .
The fortified Mannerheim line from which the Finns fought this night was a system of blockhouses and pillboxes stretching for miles along the frontier. The Russians announced in a communique that their troops had advanced into Finland all along the frontier.
Here is that radio address from Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner and latest reports on the war from Radio Finland.
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