The Baltic Way: 31 years later

August 23, 2020 marks 31 years since the historical Baltic Way, also known as the Baltic chain - a human chain weaving through all three Baltic States August 23, 1989.

Approximately two million people joined hands, forming a chain of over 600 kilometers through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, in peaceful protest against the Soviet occupation. 

The biggest achievement of the protest campaign was getting the USSR to admit to past crimes. The USSR acknowledged the existence of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and declared it invalid. It was one of the most important steps towards the renewal of independence in the Baltics.

 

 

Year after year, the event is remembered in special ways, and this year is no exception. Given the ongoing protests in Belarus and supporting Belarus, similar human chains are formed today in various places in the Baltic, the largest one forming from Vilnius, Lithuania, to the Belarusian border.

A chain in the center of Riga was also formed, many flags of the Baltics and Belarus waving around.

Sporting events - TRASHMOB and Rimi Riga Marathon Baltic Way run - are also taking place in connection to remembrance of the Baltic Way.

According to Lithuanian news portal LRT, this year, the highway from Vilnius to Latvian border will be named the Baltic Way on Google maps.

Last year, when the Baltic Way celebrated its 30th anniversary, LSM did a comprehensive story about the historical day. You can check it out here, to find out more about this monumental event impacting the lives of many.

 

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