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was a military conflict between the Soviet Union (USSR) and Finland in 1939–1940.
The war began with the Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, and ended with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940.
Finland retained its sovereignty and enhanced its international reputation.
The poor performance of the Red Army encouraged Adolf Hitler to think that an attack on the Soviet Union would be successful and reconfirmed negative Western opinions of the Soviet military.
Yartsev suggested that Finland cede or lease some islands in the Gulf of Finland along the seaward approaches to Leningrad; Finland refused.
Negotiations continued throughout 1938 without results. Finnish reception of Soviet entreaties was decidedly cool, as the violent collectivization and purges in Stalin's Soviet Union resulted in a poor opinion of the country.
The new Bolshevik Russian government was fragile, and civil war had broken out in Russia in November 1917; the Bolsheviks determined they could not hold onto peripheral parts of the old empire.
With Stalin gaining absolute power through the Great Purge of 1938, the USSR changed its foreign policy toward Finland in the late 1930s and began pursuing the reconquest of the provinces of Tsarist Russia lost during the chaos of the October Revolution and the Russian Civil War almost two decades earlier.
Nevertheless, the government of Sweden carefully avoided committing itself to Finnish foreign policy.
The 1920s and early 1930s proved a politically unstable time in Finland.
The Finnish government allowed volunteers to cross the border to support the East Karelian uprising in Russia in 1921, and Finnish communists in the Soviet Union continued to prepare for a revanche and staged a cross-border raid into Finland, called the Pork mutiny, in 1922.
During Joseph Stalin's rule, Soviet propaganda painted Finland's leadership as a "vicious and reactionary fascist clique".
The Red Army, however, had been crippled by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1936–1938.