THE ILLEGAL TRADE ON THE VOLHYN’ SECTION OF THE POLISH-SOVIET BORDER DURING 1920–1924

  • Volodymyr Marchuk
Keywords: the Second Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Volhyn’ voivodship, smuggling, interwar period, the Polish-Soviet border

Abstract

The article is dedicated to the issue of the illegal trade on the Volhyn’ section of the Polish-Soviet border. The customs policy was a part of the state’s foreign policy and the smuggling has arose and developed as a counteraction to this policy. The foreign policy of the state and the domestic economic situation have determined the causes of smuggling, the range and channels of smuggled goods’ transportation. The Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth have suffered significant losses as a result of the First World War and the Soviet-Polish wars and were in the highly difficult economic conditions. Smuggling was an inevitable consequence of the industrial goods and food shortage. During 1920 – 1924 the Volhyn’ section of the Polish-Soviet border becomes a place of an active illegal trade between Poland and Soviet Ukraine. Unsettled border on both sides, weak security contributed to the spread of smuggling, which mainly the local people took part in. During the period studied, the range of smuggled goods has changed – in the 1920 – 1921 period, together with manufacture, the greater part of the smuggled goods were consumer goods, such as: spices (bay leaF. pepper, cinnamon), tea, coffee, cacao, chocolate, matches, candles, blacking, soap, etc. The flow of smugglers, as well as the goods’ quantity, was not always the same and, first of all, depended on the border’s security both, form the Polish and Soviet side; however, it was inconsistent. In further, the consumer goods disappear from the list of smuggled goods, being replaced with of all sorts of manufactured goods.

Published
2020-12-01