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Old May 3rd, 2019, 01:25 PM   #17901
tfd543
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What if you cross by bike? Can you go directly to the border buildings that you use by foot?
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Old May 3rd, 2019, 07:20 PM   #17902
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You can get off, move your bike and cross on foot, I reckon
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Old May 4th, 2019, 07:32 PM   #17903
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
You can get off, move your bike and cross on foot, I reckon
No need, you can just go through the car lanes.

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1545...!7i8704!8i4352

It doesn't quite show it, but where the policeman is standing in this picture, bikes can go through that gap to jump the queue. Or you can push your bike through the pedestrian routes, but there's no need and it would take longer.

Something that I forgot to mention - at night, pedestrians also don't use the Spanish customs building, but they have to walk past the customs booth that cars use instead. The gates here are opened at nights to allow people to walk through.

No idea why the customs building is shut at night though - it seems that there's no way to actually pay for imported goods once that building closes. The other building (for Spanish customs on exit) is also closed at night.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 07:29 PM   #17904
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Some interesting news from the long May weekend in Poland - two temporary border crossings with Ukraine were opened: Wołosate-Lubnya and Przemyśl-Nyzhankovychi. These two crossings have been repeatedly the subject of discussion for being opened permanently as pedestrian crossings, but nothing has happened yet.

Some pictures here.

I'm sorry that I didn't have a chance to go there - I'd have made the trip to see them
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Old May 8th, 2019, 06:49 PM   #17905
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Geneva

Geneva (CH)-> Bardonnex (F) about two hours ago

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Old May 9th, 2019, 06:05 PM   #17906
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chateau of chenonceau " ligne de demarcation "border (1941 )
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Old May 17th, 2019, 09:48 PM   #17907
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https://issuu.com/ajakiri_radar/docs/radar_7/52

I found something interesting: another picture of the border between Estonia and the Russian SSR in 1990. I'm not sure if this is from before or after the country changed its name from the Estonian SSR to the Republic of Estonia, but it certainly shows that controls were well in place before Estonian independence.



And this picture is from the Narva-1 border crossing in 1993. It didn't actually change very much from this time until they built the new border crossing recently.
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Old May 17th, 2019, 09:58 PM   #17908
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When these countries got the independence, how did they deal at first with border controls?

Just road controls in the border when building booths?. And what about those unpaved paths that can cross the new border?
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Old May 17th, 2019, 10:00 PM   #17909
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Three pictures. I'm only 99% sure about them, but I think it's the border station Heerstraße - Staaken between West Berlin and the GDR in 1957.

http://www.fortepan.hu/?image_id=171217&language=en-US
http://www.fortepan.hu/?image_id=171218&language=en-US
http://www.fortepan.hu/?image_id=171219&language=en-US
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Old May 17th, 2019, 11:20 PM   #17910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
When these countries got the independence, how did they deal at first with border controls?

Just road controls in the border when building booths?.
I can't tell you exactly how it looked, but this is my understanding of it based on my own research.

So, we need to go back to 1990, when the three Baltic States started making moves towards independence. They erected customs controls on their borders, both with each other and with other Soviet Union states (Russia/Belarus). They were quite informal things in the beginning, often consisting only of a prefabricated hut and barriers on the road.

These were known as "economic borders" to stress that they were about customs controls, not about police controls. In practice, they also served as a way to monitor who was crossing the border, but the emphasis was on goods and not people. These customs controls were because of the economic situation in the Soviet Union - they had made some reforms to the economic system in their republics, and the controls were intended to protect those reforms.

http://hellotalalay.blogspot.com/201...-memorial.html - this shows inside the guard hut at Medininkai (LT/BY border), which was attacked by Soviet Union forces. There were other attacks on these border posts, but this is the most well known one. It was really a basic thing, probably so that it wouldn't attract too much attention from the central government. Building a proper border crossing would have been too much, even by Lithuania.

One important note: the Soviet Union still controlled their external borders with non-Soviet Union countries until independence was formally recognised by Moscow. There were problems associated with this - for instance, the Soviet Union conducted police controls on the entry to the Soviet Union, but the individual republics were enforcing their own Customs laws on top of the Soviet customs laws.

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And what about those unpaved paths that can cross the new border?
What I understand is that until September 1991, it wasn't a problem because there were only customs controls between the countries, and mostly in very rural areas with a couple of exceptions such as in Valka/Valga. After formal independence, the borders were guarded as any other. Barriers were put up (you can find pictures of how Valka/Valga used to look before Schengen), and there were some serious problems where people had lengthy detours to get between neighbouring countries.
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Old May 19th, 2019, 10:54 AM   #17911
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LT/PL border
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Originally Posted by Erkaesowiec View Post
9. Border LT/PL
And customs officials (green car between roads).
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Old May 19th, 2019, 12:53 PM   #17912
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For those not familiar with that region, it's helpful to indicate which of the countries is ahead
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Old May 19th, 2019, 12:58 PM   #17913
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So people in the USSR could freely travel between the republics?

Because even now there are regions of Russia to which one cannot travel freely.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 03:03 PM   #17914
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In the USSR there were closed cities (Vladivostok, Kaliningrad,...), usually those where military or scientific facilities existed, that were accessible only with special permits. There are still some closed cities in Russia, although in a smaller number.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 05:59 PM   #17915
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
So people in the USSR could freely travel between the republics?

Because even now there are regions of Russia to which one cannot travel freely.
Yes, borders between the individual republics within the USSR were the same as Yugoslav republican borders. It caused problems in places like Valga/Valka once the borders went up, because Valga was the economic centre of the town and people were used to crossing the border freely.

Of course, there were closed cities and regions like Kaliningrad, but in general, people could move freely if they weren't banned from a certain place. No-one was stopping an ethnic Latvian living in the Latvian SSR from working in the Estonian SSR, for instance.

It's also worth pointing out that movement between the European socialist countries and the USSR wasn't so easy as well. The USSR was remarkably hostile towards their "friends", even down to forcing people to enter the Soviet Union at Terespol/Brest if they wanted to go to Vilnius from Warsaw.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 06:42 PM   #17916
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However, the Lithuanian/Latvian border lived only 36 years as a 'hard' border: 1920-1940 and 1991-2007. Even during these periods no visas were required for Latvians and Lithuanians to cross this border.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 01:08 AM   #17917
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Yes, worth also pointing out that the Baltic States quickly agreed on a single visa space (i.e. one visa for one Baltic country was good for all three).

I've found some interesting links, too.

This link shows the Medininkai (LT) border with Belarus in 1991. It's NSFW and 18+, as it shows the aftermath of the massacre. The pictures are horrible, but it contains probably the best pictures showing how the economic border crossing looked at that time. It also makes clear that these border crossings were more symbolic than functional.

Thislink talks about how the Estonian economic border was developed in 1990. It's a very interesting read, because although this was a "economic border", it seems that Estonia was controlling the movement of people too, even on the Latvian border. Of course, they couldn't stop Soviet forces from entering, but it seems that the purpose was to at least develop an observation network so they could see what the Soviet forces were up to.

This next photo comes from the Koidula border crossing in autumn 1990.



EST/RU border at Luhamaa. Presumably for bus passengers?

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Last edited by Eulanthe; May 21st, 2019 at 01:53 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 01:04 PM   #17918
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post

EST/RU border at Luhamaa. Presumably for bus passengers?
Yes, that's right.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 03:02 PM   #17919
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It would be interesting to know if there's also passport controls there, or if they're carried out on the bus.

Anyway, another one: this time, the EST/LV border at Ikla, 1991 - https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvg0r02jGaX/

And a video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlhxd_VLVzY - possibly from Ikla as well from the time of the economic border (before independence)?

And another one - I think this must be from 1994, as it mentions the removal of Soviet/Russian forces from Estonia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDmpIoQp2VM - it also shows the Estonian "customs border" sign briefly. It's from the Kunichina Gora border crossing, on the other side from Koidula. As far as I can work out, the Russian border crossing under construction here is the same one that exists today.

Last edited by Eulanthe; May 21st, 2019 at 03:13 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 03:28 PM   #17920
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Why doesn't Google Maps let crossing the Serbo-Kosovan border? Is it somehow restricted to international travellers?
Meanwhile, it leads travellers through closed checkpoints on the Slovenian-Croatian border like this one (Italian drivers had been arrested there before): https://www.google.it/maps/dir/Tries...45.4035254!3e0
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