The 47-kilometre Kineta-Pissia stage claimed high-profile victims from the outset, including World Rally Championship points leader Ogier.
The Frenchman stopped with what Volkswagen would only describe as a 'mechanical problem'.
Hirvonen's Citroen made it to the finish despite a steering issue that cost him nearly six minutes, while Mads Ostberg reported that his M-Sport Ford's "wheel fell off" as he dropped three minutes.
Those that did make it through unscathed found themselves a long way off M-Sport driver Novikov's pace.
Second-placed Dani Sordo's Citroen is 20.6 seconds down on the Russian, but 15.7s ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala, who is now VW's main hope.
The Finn's team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen is fifth, behind Thierry Neuville.
Leg one of the shortened rally comprises just two stages, with the field now heading to service before tackling SS2 in darkness.
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- Mads Ostberg