Ru Soikkanen

(1898 – 1989)

At the age of 18 Ru Spiro fell in love with a Finnish painter Ilmari Soikkanen and ran away from her parents’ home in St Petersburg in the midst of the 1917 revolution. She married Ilmari and lived all her life in Finland. The sisters couldn’t communicate for obvious reasons – in Stalin’s times Tania would risk her life and the safety of her family had she revealed the fact that she had a sister abroad. They saw each other again only after 40 years when Ru came to visit Leningrad in late 1950s. Their children and grandchildren met and resumed the interrupted family connection.