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Monument of the Winter War
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goal of the project was to increase tourism on the Raate road by 30%, create new jobs and to secure existing jobs. In addition, the intention was to increase general interest in military history and to cherish the legacy of the Winter War.

Main activities

• Construction of the Winter War monument in honour of the veterans of the Winter War, • Stressing of military history research and establishment of a cooperation network with Russian military history researchers.


The Monument was designed as a field where natural stones (approx. 23,000 stones) would be placed in remembrance of all the soldiers who lost their lives at Suomussalmi during 1939–1940. The project was completed and an approximately three-hectare monument was built as planned. The traveler volumes on the Raate road were increased by over 50 percent during the project, thus exceeding the set goals. The increase in visitors at the museum and the monument was also clearly evident in the sales volumes of the café. The visitor numbers and turnover remained at the same level during the summer of 2008. The project created one new job and secured an existing one; both jobs still exist. The Russian Academy of Sciences gathered information regarding the Red Army and the Universities of Joensuu and Petrozavodsk completed research on the civilian prisoners of war held in Suomussalmi during 1939–1940. The research project was the first objective scientific study of the Winter War in Russia. A researcher network, which is still utilised by reporters and researchers, was developed in Finland and Russia. Interest in the history of the Winter War has increased in Finland, Russia and elsewhere. The topic has also been presented extensively in public following the project’s conclusion. United States company MastersWork Media produced a Winter War film, ‘Fire & Ice’, Finland’s national public service broadcaster YLE created some short documentaries on the subject, several books have been published regarding the battles of Raate, and the topic is touched upon in countless books. Lots of visitors still visit the www.heninen.net/raatteentie and www.raatteenportti.fi websites. Military history trips are organised to Russia and Russian/Ukrainian travel agencies arrange trips to Suomussalmi. Products related to military history are sold at Raatteen Portti and on its website.

Basic information