The Investigative Committee opened a criminal proceeding on the Finnish concentration camps in Karelia
The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on genocide (Article 357 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) in the territory of Karelia during the Great Patriotic War.
It is about keeping the Russian population in 14 concentration camps after the invasion of the occupying forces in the Karelian-Finnish SSR in 1941.
Unlike most of the Soviet territories occupied during the Great Patriotic War, there were almost no German troops in Karelia - the Finnish army invaded here, who fought until September 1944 on the side of Nazi Germany. However, after the war between the USSR and Finland, a special relationship developed and therefore the participation of the Finnish authorities and troops in war crimes against the inhabitants of Karelia was not advertised for a long time. Even the famous photograph of the children behind the barbed wire from the so-called "resettlement camp" in Petrozavodsk was published with a cropped upper inscription in Finnish.
Soviet prisoners of war were held in 49 concentration camps in Finland, in the occupied territory of the Karelian-Finnish SSR and in the territory of the Leningrad Region occupied by Finnish troops. Of the 63,641 Soviet prisoners of war, 42,503 died in Finnish captivity as a result of executions, from illness, exhaustion and cold, another 2136 were handed over to the Germans, 1037 fled from places of detention, during transportation or from their place of work, 1679 were among the missing.
"During the occupation of the region from 1941 to 1944, at least eight thousand citizens were killed in the resettlement camps, " the Kommersant newspaper quoted the Investigation Committee as saying . The resettlement camps drove mainly the Russian population, which did not have Karelian and Finnish roots. In total, 24 thousand people were kept in such camps, among the dead - two thousand children. “Over seven thousand prisoners of war were buried alive, put to death in gas chambers and shot,” said Svetlana Petrenko, an official representative of the Investigative Committee. Two thousand former juvenile prisoners of Finnish concentration camps are still alive today and live mainly in Karelia.
Investigators recover circumstances of crimes and study archival materials. Svetlana Petrenko recalled that such crimes have no statute of limitations.