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Baltic Way, 30th Anniversary

WASHINGTON- Friday, August 23, 2019, marked the 30th anniversary of Baltic Way. Baltic Way was a peaceful political demonstration where two million people joined hands to form a human chain which spanned 420 miles, joining three Baltic states, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, which at the time were members of the Soviet Union. People joined hands to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

To mark the 30th anniversary, members of the original chain joined hands along with 350 to 500 other participants on the Capital’s lawn.

“We wanted the human chain to link one light post to another light post on the other end of the lawn. We were not expecting so many people to join in and as a result, we created a giant circle instead,” Arturs Saburovs, third secretary (Communications and Public Diplomacy) for the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia said.

The Baltic states were, at the time, occupied by the Soviet Union, the day is now known as the Black Ribbon Day in other Western countries. The countries continued with their government surviving abroad through diplomatic representation. August 23 is considered the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

By Alex Fernandez