Urtatagai conflict

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The Urtatagai conflict was a conflict between the Soviet Union and the Emirate of Afghanistan in the 1920s over the control of the island of Urtatagai. According to J. Bruce Amstutz, the Soviet Union officially argued that a shift in the Amu Darya river had caused the island of Urtatagai to fall within Soviet territory, and occupied it on this basis, while the real reason was due to the island being used by as a base by Uzbek rebels to raid Soviet territory. After protests by the government of Afghanistan, a joint commission awarded the island to Afghanistan.[1]

William Ritter offers a slightly different account of events. According to him, it began in November 1925 when the Soviet Union occupied the island of Urtatagai, which the Soviets claimed was being used as a base by Basmachi insurgents to raid Soviet territory. It ended in 1926, when the Soviet Union and Afghanistan signed a Pact of Neutrality and Non-Aggression, which obligated Afghanistan to restrain Basmachi border raids.[2] The University of Indiana states that the Pact of Neutrality and Non-Aggression was signed on 31 August 1926.[3]

Further reading[edit]

The Soviet‐Afghan conflict of 1925–26 over the Island of Urta‐Tugai (Sergei Borisovich Panin, 2007)


  1. ^ Amstutz, J. Bruce (1994). Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. DIANE Publishing. pp. 14, 15. ISBN 9780788111112.
  2. ^ Ritter, William S. (1990). "Revolt in the Mountains: Fuzail Maksum and the Occupation of Garm, Spring 1929". Journal of Contemporary History. 25 (4): 547–580. doi:10.1177/002200949002500408. ISSN 0022-0094. JSTOR 260761.
  3. ^ "Chronology 1926". www.indiana.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-03.