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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.
Field Marshal Mannerheim and Väinö Tanner, the leader of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, were targeted for particular scorn.
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.
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".
While aborted because of Russia's internal strife, these attempts ruined Russia's relations with the Finns and increased support for Finnish self-determination movements.
The resulting Grand Duchy of Finland enjoyed wide autonomy within the Empire until the end of the 19th century, when Russia began attempts to assimilate Finland as part of a general policy to strengthen the central government and unify the Empire through russification.
The Red Army, however, had been crippled by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1936-38.
However, after reorganization and adoption of different tactics, the renewed Soviet offensive overcame Finnish defences at the borders.
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.
Thus, the Soviet Union (USSR) recognized the new Finnish government just three weeks after the declaration .