Russian spy laughing through his execution in Finland, 1942

A Soviet spy laughs at his executioner in a photograph taken at Rukazarvi in ​​East Karelia in November 1942. It is thought within the Finnish Defense Forces that the decision to withdraw photographs of the fate of Russian POWs and spies may have also prompted the decision. Out of concern that pro-Soviet elements in Finnish society might use the images for propaganda purposes.

This photo was declassified by the Finnish Ministry of Defense in 2006 with the description: Before the shooting of an unidentified Soviet intelligence officer, Finland, 1942.

Quite a wonderful picture. To capture the last moments of life. He knows that he will be dead in a few seconds, in the woods in the snow. And there he will bleed and be forgotten.

His life, his experience is over. What else could he do except smile? That smile was his last defiance. Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.

Of note, Finland was allied with Germany and was at war with the USSR. This is Continuity War, not Last Winter's War. By 1942, Finland had joined the blockade of Leningrad (which killed 1 million civilians). Finland was not involved, to be precise they refused to directly assist in the siege, even though their borders were about 30 km apart.

World War II for Finland was the Winter War (Soviets invade Finland, Finland fights until there is almost literally no more ammunition left in Finland, so they have to negotiate a peace where They lose territory that the Soviets were happy to accept because they were defeated. Many people - meanwhile, the world's other democracies initially help Finland because the Soviet Union is one of the "bad guys" - Nazi Germany. Associated with).

Continuity War (Finland ally with Nazi Germany to reclaim territory lost in the Winter War – meanwhile, other democracies are now placed in an awkward position, with the Soviet Union being one of the "good guys" as the Nazis defeated the Soviets had left the union behind)

The Lapland War (Finland negotiates separate peace with the Allies on fairly favorable terms - because the Western Allies feel that the Soviet Union is not really a "good man" but an "enemy of my enemy" - and the Nazis want Finland exits).

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