The Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 and the issues of Eastern Galicia


  • L.T. Prystash



annexation, russian expansion, institutions, legal relations


The scientific article deals with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, as the final stage of the struggle of the Ukrainian people for the creation of an independent state in the period 1917-1921.
The final version of the Riga Peace Treaty was based on the Treaty of Preliminary Terms of Peace and Armistice of October 12, 1920, and the provisions developed by the Territorial, Financial, Economic and Other Commissions.
According to the Treaty of Riga between the USSR and Poland, the border line affected relations between the two countries before the Second World War. Eastern Galicia, Western Volhynia, and the districts of Polissya, which were part of the Polish state, formed a new geographical region, Western Ukraine. Poland also included a part of Belarus, with an area of 108 thousand square meters. km and a population of 3 million people.
The main aspect of the division of territories was that Poland renounced the lands of the ancient Commonwealth, located east of the border established in Riga, and the RSFSR and USSR from claims to territories west of the border. Poland, as a result of the recognition of the puppet USSR and the parallel refusal to recognize the UPR as its only ally in the Polish-Bolshevik war, actually refused to implement the program of the federal state.
The terms of the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 were largely implemented in the context of legal relations between Poland and the USSR, which included the USSR from December 1922 to July 1923. Participation in the implementation of the terms of the Riga Peace Treaty in terms of return and restoration of cultural values became the first international experience of Ukraine of this scale in this field. Ukraine suffered significant losses of cultural values, which were transferred to Poland by the Soviet government, and only thanks to Ukrainian scientists and cultural figures managed to partially defend Ukraine’s interests and important library, archival and museum funds claimed by Poland remained in Ukrainian institutions.
The Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 was annulled by the Soviet government in September 1939, following the collapse of the Polish state. Western Ukraine and Western Belarus became part of the USSR and merged with Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Belarus.