The Estonian-Russian border after the Truce of Tartu

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13. February 1920

The border defined in the Truce of Tartu was quite favorable to Estonia. It, more or less, represented the Estonian forces' positions at the time of signing the treaty on January 31, in 1919.

Narva river and the Irboska uplands, that now belonged to Estonia, offered the best possible natural protection, from a military strategic point of view. From an ethnic standpoint, the joining of Setumaa and Narva, which were mainly inhabited by Estonians, were crucial. The industrial enterprises of Narva would guarantee future economic profit.

The border was marked in 1920-1923, with the help of a committee, consisting of representatives from both sides . In accordance with the truce, the area west of Narva river, the islands in the river and a strip of land west of Pihkva lake were marked as neutral for two years. No new fortifications could be built in that area. Russia was obligated to keep the areas around the Estonian border neutral until January 1, 1922. After the treaty was ratified, a maximum of 40 men would be allowed to guard one verst (1,067 km) of the border during the first six months, and 30 men after that.

Image: Komarovka checkpoint in 1932.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Eesti Vabadussõda, 1918-1920, 2. Tallinn: Mats, 1997                                                                                   

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