1) Maslennikov is hardly a an unbiased observer. He represents one of the parties allegedly involved.
2) Artillery incidents certainly are rare and exceptional. However, they are rarely, if ever, accidental. As artillery is essentially an indirect fire weapon, its use has almost necessarily to be premeditated and involve a number of people acting collaboratively.
3) You say, ".....they didn't provoke anybody to anything." Well, if they were accidental they might well not. However, interestingly, all the examples raised here so far seem to be on the borders of the USSR and Nazi Germany - two expansionist authoritarian powers that were also by some way the most populous in Europe and were very shortly to try to over run the other parties involved in the incidents. Coincidence?
You post, "....in historical science you've got to have factual basis behind any statement. Since any serious Soviet investigation was absent, and Finnish investigation was token to they the least, you've got too few facts to support any possible version. And most probably would never have."
If so, then there is no substantive evidence that the incident ever happened.
As I posted before, "The onus is very much on the Soviet side to provide substantive proof" if we are to take it further. In the absence of such substantive proof, the "incident" might as well be a fiction (which is certainly one plausible explanation).
Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑05 Dec 2019 12:29
1) Certainly unplanned firearms incidents were probably not uncommon, but they were also a recognised means of increasing tensions and pressures on weaker states.
For example, according to NKVD forces commander Maslennikov when the Finnish delegation returned from negotiations at Moscow on 15 October 1939 Finnish border guards made two shots on Soviet officers that closed to the border at that moment. Did Finns wanted to increase their pressure on the USSR? I don't think so.
he USSR also stands accused of contriving them against Estonia and Romania (Bessarabia/Moldova)
In June 1940 Soviet border guards attacked Latvian (not Estonian) border posts without an order by their own initiative. That's a known case demonstrating that spontaneous actions without order from above in politically tense situations were not improbable. I'm not sure what was a Romanian border incident exactly, I suppose one of many spontaneous accidents that happened here and there.
2) The alleged Mainila incident was exceptional in that it reportedly involved artillery.
There were incident involving artillery on Soviet-Manchurian border. There were certainly more rare but not exceptional. There is a good Soviet are collection of document called "Soviet border troops 1939-1941" which lists probably not all, but at least many of these border incidents. And I want to repeat it again, there were many-many of them. The most specials thing about Mainila is that it was hugely PRed. Alleged human casualties and employment of explosive ammo was not the most common thing but not altogether exceptional.
It is also exceptional because the accusation is that the far weaker party was suicidally provoking the much stronger party
Well, "spontaneous" incidents are called spontaneous because they don't happen by design. Hence discussing their rationale is altogether meaningless. Then, in fact the bulk of these dozens or hundreds border incidents that happened annually didn't have any consequences other than formal diplomatic protests at most. So they didn't provoke anybody to anything.
As I posted before, "The onus is very much on the Soviet side to provide substantive proof."
Nope, in historical science you've got to have factual basis behind any statement. Since any serious Soviet investigation was absent, and Finnish investigation was token to they the least, you've got too few facts to support any possible version. And most probably would never have.