Today marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Winter War. The war began when the Soviet Union attacked Finland without a declaration of war. Defending Finland’s independence came at a heavy cost. More than 25,000 Finns died, 44,000 were wounded. The war ended on March 13, after 105 days of fighting.

On Saturday afternoon, the state leadership laid wreath at the National Memorial to the Winter War at Kasarmitori Square in Helsinki to commemorate the start of the war.

The participants, among others, included President Sauli Niinistö, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Tuula Haatainen and Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen.