Dnipro Line

Dnipro Line (Дніпровська лінія; Dniprovska liniia). System of border fortifications built by the Russian government during the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) for protection against incursions by the Crimean Tatars. It replaced the old fortifications of the so-called Bilhorod and Ukrainian border line (in the Poltava region and Kharkiv region), which lost significance with the southward extension of the borders. The Dnipro Line extended 180 km beyond the Dnipro River, from the fortress of Oleksandrivske (today the city of Zaporizhia) to the fortress of Saint Peter (later Berdiansk) on the Sea of Azov. The small garrisons along the line were manned by Cossacks. Having played a strategic role during the Russo-Turkish War, the Dnipro Line was abandoned after the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Empire (1783).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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