Independence Day of Estonia, 24 February

On February 24, 1918, Estonia issued a declaration of independence. This was done by the new Soviet Russia, which was followed by a war with the Soviets to ensure Estonian liberty. After two years, on February 2, 1920, the war ended with the Tartu Peace Treaty. The treaty guaranteed Estonia’s independence for all time. However, the treaty would not be honored, and the Soviets went on to break this pact. This would lead to Estonia being under Soviet control for the next 50 years.

In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The pact’s protocol divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence, and Estonia was handed over to the Soviet sphere. During this time, the Soviet’s ‘Russification’ policy meant the Estonian flag and other national symbols were forbidden. In fact, local languages were restricted and Russian was made the country’s official language.


Independence Day Estonia. (n.d.).

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