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The Kollaa River (Russian: Колласйоки, Finnish: Kollaanjoki or Kollasjoki) is a 76-kilometre (47 mi) long river in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It starts from Lake Kollasjärvi in the Suoyarvsky District and flows to Lake Tulmozero (Finnish: Tulemajärvi) in the Pryazhinsky District.

Kollaa River (Kollasjoki)
Колласйоки, Kollaanjoki
Kollaa river.jpg
Country Russia
Region Republic of Karelia
Source Lake Kollasjärvi
 - elevation 117 m (384 ft)
Mouth Lake Tulmozero
Length 76 km (47 mi)
Road R21 crosses the river at Kolatselga

Before World War II, the source of the river was a part of the Finnish municipality Suistamo and it flowed further through Suojärvi to Tulemajärvi on the Russian side.


During the Winter War in 1939, the area was a scene of the Battle of Kollaa.[1] The river became part of Finnish history, as the Red Army failed to break through there. A memorable quote, "Kollaa holds" (Kollaa kestää), became a legendary motto for the Finns.[1] The river and area are associated with the exploits of the Finnish marksman Simo Häyhä,[2] the gunman with the highest number of confirmed kills in any major war. The battle areas around the river are a preserved monument and tourist site.[3]

The asteroid 1929 Kollaa is named after the river.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Battles: Ladoga Karelia Area" (Film microsite). Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia. Indiana, United States: Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting (WYFI). Retrieved 2010-01-19. on December 7th [1939] elements of the Soviet 56th Division reached the area of the Kollaa River. ... the Kollaa River area was the location the Finns were forced to make their stand.
  2. ^ Snodgrass, Brent (2002-04-07). "Finnish sniper Simo Häyhä during the Winter War". Mosin Man's Military Surplus Firearms. Retrieved 2010-01-19. Simo Häyhä was called into action during the Winter War with his service under the 6th Company of JR 34 on the Kollaa River.
  3. ^ "On Both Sides of Kollaa. From the Past to the Present". Republic of Karelia: The State Centre for the Protection and Management of the Historic and Cultural Monuments of the Ministry of Culture. 2004. Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  4. ^ "1929 Kollaa (1939 BS)". JPL Small-Body Database Browser. California, United States: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-01-19. Named for a river in Karelia, scene of violent battles during the Finnish winter war.