Finland (in Finnish: Suomi) is a republic located in Northern Europe, with a population of about 5 million. Capital: Helsinki. Official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Especially younger Finns understand English relatively well.
Finland was part of Sweden until 1809, then autonomous grand duchy within the Russian empire. It has been independent since the 6th of December, 1917. The political system is a parliamentary republic with several parties and usually with coalition governments.
Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union in 1939 and was again at war with it in 1941-44 but managed to remain independent. However, Finland lost most of Finnish Carelia, including the second-largest Finnish city Viipuri. After the war Finland was compelled to a sort of military pact with the Soviet Union, and in Western countries Finland was often regarded almost as a satellite of the Soviet Union. However, Finland preserved its economic and political system.