Republic of Estonia (1918-1940)
May 28, 2022
The Republic of Estonia - the first period of statehood in the history of the Estonian state (est. Eesti Vabariik), taking place in the years 1918–1940, between the declaration of independence and occupation by the Red Army (June 17, 1940) and annexation by the USSR (August 6, 1940). At the end of World War I, it was occupied by the German army. On February 24, 1918, a committee was established to proclaim Estonia's independence. Konstantin Päts was the first prime minister. The government was not recognized by the Germans and formally began work after Germany's capitulation in the West. At the end of November, Estonia was attacked by Bolshevik troops, which tried to establish a pro-Soviet government there. The Estonian-Bolshevik war began. In January and February 1919, a successful counter-offensive by Estonian troops under the command of Johan Laidoner drove the Bolsheviks from Estonian territory and provided aid to Latvia. In May and June of the same year, it repulsed the attack of the Germans from the south. In the same month, the whites under the command of Nikolai Yudenich attacked Estonia. In the peace treaty of Tartu on February 2, 1920, Soviet Russia recognized Estonia's independence, and on January 26, 1921, it was recognized by the Entente states. On September 22 of the same year, she was admitted to the League of Nations. After the right-wing coup in 1934, she was ruled authoritatively. After the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and the USSR's aggression against Poland, Estonia was forced to conclude an agreement with the USSR on September 28, 1939, on the basis of which Soviet military bases were established on the territory of Estonia, and the number of Red Army forces deployed there exceeded the forces of the Estonian army. On June 17, 1940, after an ultimatum directed to the government of Estonia by the USSR, the country was occupied by the Red Army, Sovietized and annexed by the USSR on August 6, 1940 in the form of the Estonian SSR - a union republic of the USSR.