During the depths of the Finnish Winter War in 1939-40, the Ukrainian 44th Division was decimated at Raate Road in January, but this is not the full story, according to the article below. The Ukrainian soldiers were cut from a different cloth than their Russian counterparts. When they surrendered to the Finns, they expressed their view that there was a parallel between Finland’s fight against Russia and their own.
“Finnish commanders not only recognized the importance of these Ukrainian units but detailed in their despatches “the resoluteness of soldiers from Ukraine taken prisoner,” a quality that set them apart from “the residents of Soviet Russia which were ideologically dominated by Bolshevism and rotting imperial chauvinism.”
Historians confirm this and found that Ukrainians who went over to the Finnish side frequently said they did not understand why Moscow was invading Finland and expressed their desire to fight for Finland as a way of fighting for the ultimate independence of their own country”
” Kovalov and Yakuba point out that the Winter War created “a unique situation,” one in which “Ukrainians were on both sides of the front.” And the willingness of Ukrainian soldiers to leave their Soviet units and fight for the Finns created a serious threat to Moscow, one that they believe played a key role in Stalin’s decision to end the war when he did.”
A belated thank-you to the brave Ukrainian soldiers sent to die by their Soviet masters who found the courage to speak against them and join the Finnish cause in spirit.