On August 23, Lithuania is celebrating the 27th anniversary of the Baltic Way, a defining moment in the Baltic countries' movement for independence from the Soviet Union.

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Baltic Way on August 23, 1989
© wikipedia.org nuotr.

In August 1989, about two million people in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined hands to form a human chain spanning over 650 kilometres across the three countries from Tallinn to Vilnius.

The rally was held on the day when, in 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the so-called Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, a secret appendix to the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty in which they divided up spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact laid foundations to the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States one year later.

The Baltic Way was a protest rally on the 50th anniversary of the pact and was one of the milestones in the Baltic nations' peaceful struggle for independence.

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