The Keys ep19 Ruhnu island. Why did Latvia not get it after all?
1919. There were still three governments in Latvia, and the Freedom Fights continued, but Latvia and its neighbours were already drafting borders. This issue still hurts a little, because of the island of Ruhnu. If we look at the map, it seems rather logical: the closest landmass to Ruhnu is the cape Kolka in Latvia, just 36 km away; the closest harbour is also Latvian – in the town of Roja, just 45 km. Historically, Ruhnu has always belonged to the now Latvian territory. But, soon after the beginning of the border dispute in 1920, it became clear that Latvia will not get Ruhnu this time.
It was not the Estonians who decided the fate of the island. Unlike with other disputed territories, its affiliation was not determined by the ethnicity of its inhabitants – neither Estonians, nor Latvians lived there. At least part of the island could have been ours, but we missed out on that too. What happened?