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Introducing South Karelia

South Karelia has almost drowned beneath the waves of Russian and Swedish empire building. Over the centuries the border has shuttled backwards and forwards – the once-busy South Karelian trade town of Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri) and the Karelian Isthmus reaching to St Petersburg are now part of Russia. Wars have haunted this troubled region, apparent in the remains of Russian fortifications and a common culture, particularly in the former garrison town of Lappeenranta.