Occupation of the Baltic states: Wikis


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Occupation of the Baltic states
Part of World War II, Cold War
Vyacheslav Molotov signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
Date 14 June 1940 – 21 August 1991
Location Baltic states
Result Forcible incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union[1]
Cession of: Estonian Ingria, Petseri County and Abrene district to Russia
Nazi Germany Germany
civil resistance,
United KingdomUnited StatesSweden Western intelligence (1948–1955)
 Soviet Union
Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
Autumn 1944:
730,000 troops,
7,000 artillery,
1,260 armoured vehicles,
400 aircraft,[2]
Autumn 1944:
50,000 partisans[3]
Autumn 1944:
1,546,400 troops,[4]
17,500 artillery,
3,080 armoured vehicles,
2640 aircraft[2]
Casualties and losses
724,000 civilian and
partisan deaths,[nb 1]
250,000 refugees[nb 2]
350,000 KIA, MIA or POW,
1,000,000 wounded[nb 3]

The occupation and annexation of the Baltic states was the military occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by the Soviet Union under the auspices of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 14 June 1940 followed by their forcible incorporation into the USSR as constituent republics,[1] as well as subsequent occupation of the Baltic republics by the Nazi Germany since 22 June 1941 which lasted until the Soviet Union regained full control of the Baltics in May 1945. Although the Soviet occupation led to the incorporation of the Baltic states into the USSR, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania understand themselves to have been occupied states during the whole Soviet period that ended with dissolution of Soviet Union in August 1991.[5]

Most of the Western states did not recognise the incorporation of the Baltic states into the USSR.[6] However, the moral approach of the European countries to non-recognition was quite narrow and theoretical. Baltic diplomatic activities were generally rejected. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Baltic embassies ceased operations in the 1970s.[7] According to the Governments of Baltic states,[8][9] the United States[10][11] and its courts of law,[12] the European Parliament,[13][14][15] the European Court of Human Rights[16] and the United Nations Human Rights Council,[17] these three countries were invaded, occupied and illegally incorporated into the Soviet Union under provisions[18] of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact first by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany from 1941–1944, and again by the Soviet Union from 1944–1991.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] This policy of non-recognition gave rise to the principle of legal continuity, which held that de jure, the Baltic states remained independent states under illegal occupation throughout the period 1940–91.[27]

In the reassessment of Soviet history that began during perestroika in 1989, the USSR condemned the 1939 secret protocol between Nazi Germany and itself.[28] However, the USSR never formally acknowledged its presence in the Baltics as an occupation, and considered the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics as its constituent republics. The Russian government and state officials maintain that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states was legitimate.[29][30]

The Baltic States' struggle for independence came to a conclusion in 1991, when the sovereignties of the countries were restored, accelerating to the eventual break-up of the Soviet Union later that year after the three states had seceded. A full withdrawal of troops deployed by Moscow occurred as late as August 1994 when the remaining personnel were finally recalled from the Baltic States.[31]



The four countries on the Baltic Sea that were formerly parts of the Russian EmpireFinland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – consolidated their borders and independence after the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian independence wars following the end of World War I by 1920 (see Treaty of Tartu, Latvian-Soviet Riga Peace Treaty and Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920).

In 1924 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia sealed a pact of mutual defense against eventual aggressors.[32] Ten years later, the Stalinist USSR pledged to not attack these three Baltic States until 1944.[33]

When World War II started in September 1939, the fate of the Baltic countries had been already decided in the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact and its Secret Additional Protocol of August 1939.[34]

The Soviet ultimatums in 1939

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Planned and actual divisions of Europe, according to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, with later adjustments

Early in the morning of August 24, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a 10-year non-aggression pact, called the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact. Most notably, the pact contained a secret protocol, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence".[35] In the North, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere.[35] Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its "political rearrangement"—the areas east of the Narev, Vistula and San Rivers going to the Soviet Union while Germany would occupy the west.[35] Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed in September 1939 assigned majority of Lithuania to the USSR.[36] According to the secret protocol, Lithuania would retrieve its historical capital Vilnius, subjugated during the inter-war period by Poland.

Beginning of World War II

World War II losses in the Baltic states were among the highest in Europe. Estimates of population loss stand at 25% for Estonia, 30% for Latvia, and 15% for Lithuania. War and occupation deaths have been estimated at 81,000 in Estonia,[37] 180,000 in Latvia, and 250,000 in Lithuania. These include the Soviet deportations in 1941, the German deportations, and Holocaust victims.[38]

Ultimatums to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

ORP Orzeł monument in Tallinn.

On September 24, 1939, warships of the Soviet Navy appeared off Estonian ports and Soviet bombers began a threatening patrol over Tallinn and the nearby countryside.[39] The USSR then entered the airspace of all three Baltic states, flying massive intelligence gathering operations on September 25. Moscow requested that the Baltic countries allow the USSR to establish military bases and to station troops on their soil.[40]

The government of Estonia accepted the ultimatum, signing the corresponding agreement on September 28, 1939. Latvia followed on October 5, 1939 and Lithuania shortly thereafter, on October 10, 1939. The agreements permitted the Soviet Union to establish military bases on the Baltic states' territory for the duration of the European war[40] and station 25,000 Soviet soldiers in Estonia, 30,000 in Latvia and 20,000 in Lithuania from October, 1939.

In early 1939, the Leningrad Military District had already allocated 17 divisions, about 10% of the Soviet Army, to the Baltic states. Mobilizations followed shortly. The 8th Army was dispatched to Pskov on September 14, 1939, and the mobilized 7th Army placed under the Leningrad Military District. Invasion preparations were by now nearing completion. On September 26, the Leningrad Military District was ordered to "start concentrating troops on the Estonian-Latvian border and to finish that operation on September 29." The order noted, "for the time of starting the attack a separate directive will be issued."[41]

Finland invaded

Finland was offered the same opportunity to sign a pact; however, the Finns refused,[42] and on November 30, 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Finland, launching the Winter War. The invasion was judged as illegal by the League of Nations, which expelled the Soviet Union on December 14.[43] The short lived Finnish Democratic Republic was established by the Soviet Union on 1 December 1939.

Soviet occupation and annexation 1940–1941

Soviet invasion

Schematics of the Soviet military blockade and invasion of Estonia and Latvia in 1940 (Russian State Naval Archives)
Lithuanian tanks, 1939.

The Soviet troops allocated for possible military actions against the Baltic states numbered 435,000 troops, around 8,000 guns and mortars, over 3,000 tanks, over 500 armoured cars[44].

On June 3, 1940 all Soviet military forces based in Baltic states were concentrated under the command of Aleksandr Loktionov.[45]

On June 9 the directive 02622ss/ov was given to the Red Army's Leningrad Military District by Semyon Timoshenko to be ready by the June 12 to a) Capture the vessels of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Navy in their bases and/or at sea; b) Capture the Estonian and Latvian commercial fleet and all other vessels; c) Prepare for an invasion and landing in Tallinn and Paldiski; d) Close the Gulf of Riga and blockade the coasts of Estonia and Latvia in Gulf of Finland and Baltic Sea; e) Prevent an evacuation of the Estonian and Latvian governments, military forces and assets; f) Provide naval support for an invasion towards Rakvere; g) Prevent the Estonian and Latvian airplanes flying either to Finland or Sweden.[46]

On June 12, 1940 the order for a total military blockade of Estonia to the Soviet Baltic Fleet was given: according to the director of the Russian State Archive of the Naval Department Pavel Petrov (C.Phil.) referring to the records in the archive.[47][48]

1940 Soviet map of the Estonian SSR
1940 Soviet map of the Latvian SSR
1940 Soviet map of the Lithuanian SSR

On June 13 at 10.40 AM the Soviet forces started to move to their positions and were ready by June 14 at 10 PM. a) 4 submarines and a number of light navy units were positioned in the Baltic Sea, to the gulfs of Riga and Finland to isolate the Baltic states by the sea. b) A navy squadron including 3 destroyer divisions were positioned to the west of Naissaar in order to support the invasion. c) The 1st marine brigade's 4 battalions on transportation ships "Sibir", "2nd Pjatiletka" and "Elton" were positioned for landing and invasion of Naissaare and Aegna; d) Transportation ship "Dnester" and destroyers Storozevoi and Silnoi were positioned with troops for the invasion of the capital Tallinn; e) the 50th battalion was positioned on ships for an invasion near Kunda. In the naval blockade participated in total 120 Soviet vessels including 1 cruiser, 7 destroyers, and 17 submarines; 219 airplanes including the 8th air-brigade with 84 bombers: DB-3 and Tupolev SB and 10th brigade with 62 airplanes.[49]

On June 14, 1940, the Soviets issued an ultimatum to Lithuania. The Soviet military blockade of Estonia went into effect while world's attention was focused on the fall of Paris to Nazi Germany. Two Soviet bombers downed the Finnish passenger airplane "Kaleva" flying from Tallinn to Helsinki carrying three diplomatic pouches from the U.S. legations in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki. The US Foreign Service employee Henry W. Antheil, Jr. was killed in the crash.[50]

On June 15, the USSR invaded Lithuania[51] and Soviet troops attacked the Latvian border guards at Masļenki.[8]

On June 16, 1940, the USSR invaded Estonia and Latvia.[51] According to a Time magazine article published at the time of the invasions, in a matter of days around 500,000 Soviet Red Army troops occupied the three Baltic nations—just one week before the Fall of France to Nazi Germany.[52]

Molotov accused the Baltic states of conspiracy against the Soviet Union and delivered an ultimatum to all Baltic countries for the establishment of Soviet-approved governments. Threatening invasion and accusing the three states of violating the original pacts as well as forming a conspiracy against the Soviet Union, Moscow presented ultimatums, demanding new concessions, which included the replacement of governments and allowing an unlimited number of troops to enter the three countries.[22][53][54][55] Hundreds of thousands Soviet troops entered Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania across the borders.[56] These additional Soviet military forces far outnumbered the armies of each country.[57]

The Baltic governments had decided that, in conditions of international isolation and given the overwhelming Soviet force both on the borders and inside the countries, it was in their interests not to actively resist and to avoid bloodshed in an unwinnable war.[58] The occupation of the Baltic states was complete with a communist coup d'état in each country, supported by the Soviet troops.[59]

Most of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Estonian Defence League surrendered according to the orders of the Estonian Government believing that resistance was useless and were disarmed by the Red Army.[60][61] Only the Estonian Single Signal Battalion stationed in Tallinn at Raua Street showed resistance to Red Army and Communist Militia called "People's Self-Defence"[62] on 21 June 1940.[63] As the Red Army brought in additional reinforcements supported by six armoured fighting vehicles, the battle lasted several hours until sundown. Finally the military resistance was ended with negotiations and the Single Signal Battalion surrendered and was disarmed.[64] There were 2 dead Estonian servicemen, Aleksei Männikus and Johannes Mandre, and several wounded on the Estonian side and about 10 killed and more wounded on the Soviet side.[65][66] The Soviet militia that participated in the battle was led by Nikolai Stepulov.[67]

Sovietization of the Baltic states

Plaque on the building of Government of Estonia, Toompea, commemorating government members killed by communist terror

The repressions followed with the mass deportations carried out by the Soviets. The Serov Instructions, "On the Procedure for carrying out the Deportation of Anti-Soviet Elements from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia", contained detailed procedures and protocols to observe in the deportation of Baltic nationals.

The Soviets began a constitutional metamorphosis of the Baltic states by first forming transitional "Peoples Governments."[68] Led by Stalin’s close associates,[69] the local communist supporters and those brought in from Russia, forced the presidents and governments of all three countries to resign, replacing them with the provisional People's.

On July 14–15, rigged parliamentary elections for the "People's Parliaments"[70] were conducted by local Communists loyal to the Soviet Union. Because of newly installed election restrictions, only the Communists and their allies were effectively allowed to run.[70][71] The election results were completely fabricated: the Soviet press service released them early, with the result that they had already appeared in print in a London newspaper a full 24 hours before the polls closed.[72][73]

The new Soviet-installed governments in the Baltic states began to align their policies with current Soviet practices.[74] According to the prevailing doctrine in the process, the old "bourgeois" societies were destroyed so that new socialist societies, run by loyal Soviet citizens, could be constructed in their place.[74]

Occupation by Nazi Germany, 1941–1944

Germany occupied the territories of Baltic states after invading the Soviet Union in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa. At the beginning the Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians considered the Germans to be their liberators from Soviet rule. In Lithuania, a revolt broke out on the first day of the war, and an independent provisional government was established. As the German armies approached Riga and Tallinn, attempts to reestablish national governments were made. It was hoped that the Germans would reestablish Baltic independence. Such political hopes soon evaporated and Baltic cooperation became less forthright or ceased altogether.[75] A growing proportion of local population turned against the Nazi regime as Germany turned the Baltic states (except for the Memel (Klaipėda) region reclaimed by Reich in 1939) and most of Belarus into the Reichskommissariat Ostland, a colony in which the four constituent nationalities were governed by a German administration. Hinrich Lohse, a German Nazi politician, was Reichskommissar until the Soviet re-occupation.

German policy in the area was harsh, not only involving the local population in the Holocaust but also subjugating local populations. One of the Nazi plans for the colonisation of conquered territories in the East, referred to as Generalplan Ost, called for the wholesale deportation of some two thirds of the native population from territories of the Baltic states in the event of a German victory. The remaining third were either to be exterminated in situ, used as slave labour or Germanised if deemed sufficiently Aryan, while hundreds of thousands of German settlers were to be moved into the conquered territories.

The Holocaust

A Holocaust memorial near the site of the HKP slave labor camp in Subačiaus Street, Vilnius


Out of the approximately 4,300 Jews prior to the war, 963 were trapped in Estonia by the Nazi advance.[76] Many Jewish people (estimated at around 500 individuals) were deported to Siberia along with other Estonians by the Soviets.[77] During the Nazi occupation, an estimated 10,000 Jews were killed in Estonia after having been deported to camps there from elsewhere in Eastern Europe.[78] There have been trials of 7 ethnic Estonians (Ralf Gerrets, Ain-Ervin Mere, Jaan Viik, Juhan Jüriste, Karl Linnas, Aleksander Laak and Ervin Viks) for crimes against humanity. Since the re-establishment of Estonian independence, an Estonian International Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity has been established.[79]


The Jewish community had already suffered heavily in the Soviet mass deportations, losing much of its civic and political leadership. Proportionately, the mass deportations extracted a heavier toll on Jews than any other ethnicity.[80] Deprived of their leadership, Jews were ill-prepared to respond to the Nazi threat. After the establishment of German authority, the process of eliminating the Jewish and Gypsy population began, with many killings taking place in Rumbula. The killings were committed by the Einsatzgruppe A, the Wehrmacht and Marines (in Liepāja), as well as by Latvian collaborators, including the 500–1,500 members of the infamous Arājs Commando (which alone killed around 26,000 Jews) and the 2,000 or more Latvian members of the SD.[81][82] By the end of 1941 almost the entire Jewish population had been killed or interned in death camps. In addition, some 25,000 Jews were brought from Germany, Austria and the present-day Czech Republic, of whom around 20,000 were killed. The Holocaust claimed approximately 85,000 lives in Latvia.[81]


Before the Holocaust, Lithuania was home to 160,000 Jews, and was one of the greatest centers of Jewish theology, philosophy, and learning which preceded even the times of the Gaon of Vilna. By 1941, fleeing refugees (mostly from Poland), had increased the number of Jews in the country to 250,000. By the end of the war, only 10–15% of Lithuania's Jews survived, most of them by escaping to the interior of the USSR during the German invasion in 1941. The genocide rate of Jews in Lithuania, 95–97%, was the highest in Europe.

End of German occupation

Red Army operations in the Baltic states, July–November 1944

The Soviet Union disposed of the Nazi regime in the Baltic states as a result of the Baltic Offensive, a twofold military-political operation to rout German forces in the second half of 1944. The German and Latvian forces capitulated in the Courland pocket in May 1945.

Towards the end of the war, once it became clear that Germany would be defeated, many Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians joined the Germans once again. It was hoped that by engaging in such a war the Baltic countries would be able to attract Western support for the cause of independence from the USSR.[83] In Latvia an underground nationalist Central Council of Latvia was formed on August 13, 1943. An analogous body, the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania, emerged on November 25, 1943. On March 23, 1944, the underground National Committee of the Estonian Republic was founded. Thousands of Estonians not willing to side with the Nazis joined the Finnish Defence Forces to fight against the Soviet Union. The Finnish Infantry Regiment 200 was formed out of the volunteers, known colloquially as the "Finland Boys" (Estonian: soomepoisid). On 2 February 1944, the front reached the former Estonian border. Narva was evacuated. Jüri Uluots, the last legitimate prime minister and the head of the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia delivered a radio address that implored all able-bodied men born from 1904 through 1923 to report for military service (prior to this, Uluots had opposed the mobilisation). The call drew support from across the country: 38,000 conscripts jammed registration centers.[84] Two thousand Finland Boys returned. In 1943 and 1944, two divisions of Waffen SS were formed from Latvians, predominantly conscripts, to fight against the Red Army. The Battles of Narva were perceived by Estonian people as the battle for their country, a consolation for the humiliation of 1940.[85] The lengthy German defense on the North Eastern border prevented a swift Soviet breakthrough into Estonia, which gave the underground Estonian National Committee enough time for an attempt to re-establish Estonian independence.

On 1 August 1944, the Estonian National Committee pronounced itself Estonia’s highest authority, and on 18 September 1944, acting Head of the State Jüri Uluots appointed a new government led by Otto Tief. Over the radio, in English, the Estonian government declared its neutrality in the war. The government issued two editions of State Gazette. On September 21, the national forces seized the government buildings in Tallinn and ordered the German forces to leave.[86] The Estonian flag was raised in the permanent flag mast in the tallest tower of Tallinn only to be removed by the Soviets four days later. Estonian Government in Exile served to carry the continuity of the Estonian state forward until 1992, when Heinrich Mark, the last prime minister in the duties of the Head of State, handed his credentials over to the incoming President Lennart Meri. Latvia and Lithuania continued in exile, based on the embassies in U.S. and UK.

Under Soviet rule 1944–1991

Monument of Lithuanian victims of Soviet occupation in Gediminas Avenue of Vilnius

After USSR regained control of the Baltic states, they again became constituent republics of the USSR. Although, Soviet Union and its legal successor, Russia, maintain that it was a legitimate annexation, Western[87] historical researchers consider the Soviet rule as an occupation which started in 1940 and was interrupted by the Nazi invasion.[88][89][90][91][92]

Baltic diplomatic efforts 1940–1991

In 1947 a joint communication on the occupation of Baltic states to the UN was sent by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian diplomats abroad. The Baltic Appeal to the United Nations was formed in 1966. The UN received numerous appeals from the Baltic diplomatic missions, the emigre organizations, resistance groups in Baltic countries and the US diplomats and policy makes concerning the Baltic question. Due to the presence of the USSR in the Security Council the questions were never raised on the official agenda of the UN.

A joint appeal to the UN was made by the resistance groups in Baltic states calling the United Nations to denounce the Soviet occupation that resulted the 1983 resolution of the European Parliament on the restoration of Baltic independence.[93]

Most of the countries refused to recognise the incorporation of the Baltic states de jure and only recognised the Soviet governments of Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR de facto or not at all.[94][95] Such countries recognized Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian diplomats and consuls who still functioned in the name of their former governments. These aging diplomats persisted in this anomalous situation until the ultimate restoration of Baltic independence.[96]

During the period 1940–1991 the US continiued to receive Baltic diplomats, first appointed in office by the Baltic governments before 1940, after 1980 by the Baltic diplomatic services senior members.[97] The Soviet Foreign Ministry issued formal protests against the Baltic diplomatic missions remaining open in Washington DC and elsewhere.[98]

In Canada the official list of diplomats included the offices of the Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that in the early 1960s caused the Soviet Embassy in Canada refuse to receive the lists distributed by the Canadian Department of External Affairs.[98]

Following the pressure from Soviet Union, the UK excluded the Baltic diplomats from the Diplomatic List, but as a compromise to alleviate concerns of USA, the Baltic diplomats were still accepted as possessing a diplomatic character by His/Her Majesty's Governments.[99]

Resistance (1944-1955)

Insurgency continued, resisting Soviet rule via armed struggle for a number of years. The Forest brothers, as they were known, enjoyed the material support among the local population that was the key to their survival[100], as well as from the British (MI6), American, and Swedish secret intelligence services.

Population transfers

In March 1949, the top Soviet authorities organised a mass deportation of 90,000 Baltic nationals, labelled as enemies of the people, into inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union.[101] Also, as a side effect of centrally planned industrialisation of the Soviet republics, the authorities implemented immigration of different Soviet nationals, mostly Russians. The result was a steady increase of the Russian minority in the region.[102] In 1990s, when Baltic states regained independence, this minority was widely regarded as occupiers, which resulted in a political row with Russia over human rights of Russian minority in Baltic states.

Fight for independence (1987-1990)

The Soviet reform policies in 1980's Glasnost and Perestroika triggered the Singing Revolution in the three Baltic countries that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Non-violent resistance culminated with the Baltic Way on August 23, 1989 when approximately two million people joined their hands to form an over 600 kilometer (373 mi) long human chain across the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) on the 50th anniversary of August 23, 1939 when the Soviet Union and Germany signed the secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

In July 1989, following the dramatic events in Poland, the Supreme Soviets of the Baltic countries adopted a "Declaration of Sovereignities" and amended the Constitutions to assert the supremacy of their own laws over those of the USSR. In 1991, Baltic countries claimed de facto independence. International recognition, including that of the USSR, followed. The United States, which had never recognized forcible annexation of the Baltic countries by the USSR, resumed full diplomatic relations with the republics.[103]

Baltic assets 1940–1991

After the invasion of Denmark and Norway by Nazi Germany on April 9, 1940 during WWII the President of the US issued the Executive Order 8389 under which the Treasury Department froze in the US all financial assets of occupied European countries. After the Soviet Occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania EO 8389 was extended to the assets and properties of the Baltic states.[104]

The freezing of Baltic assets by the US was condemned by the Soviet Union and it was declared that there shouldn't be any legal basis for delaying the transfer of the Baltic gold from the US Federal Reserve to the State Bank of the Soviet Union.[104]

In July 1940 the Bank of England sequestrated the Baltic gold reserves deposited in the UK.[105] During the 1950s the USSR claimed the gold regularly but was rejected due to the de jure non recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states. On January 5, 1968 an agreement between the UK and USSR was achieved, Soviet Union renounced all claims to the Baltic gold hold in the Bank of England in return for the waiver of all claims by the UK resulted by the nationalization in the USSR. In 1992 the British Government returned the assets in the amount of £ 90 million to the Baltic states.[106]

The Baltic assets deposited in Sweden were released to Soviet Union immediately after the Soviets demanded the Baltic gold reserves to be handed over in 1940, later the amount was compensated by Sweden to Baltic states in 1992.[107]

The 3 tons of gold deposited in the Bank of France by Latvia and Lithuania were refused to turn over to the USSR by governments of France.[108]

The gold reserves deposited by Baltic states prior 1940 into the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland remained intact.[109] After Baltic countries regained independence in 1991, the Baltic gold was released to the central banks of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.[110]

Recognition and non-recognition of annexation

De jure non-recognition

In 1960, the following states did not recognise the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states de jure.

  •  Afghanistan – no official relations with Baltic representatives, no final decision on non-recognition policy.[111]
  •  Australia – semi official relations maintained with Baltic representatives, de jure recognised for 17 months between July 1974-December 1975 by the Whitlam government.[111]
  •  Canada – semi official relations maintained with Baltic representatives. De facto recognition accorded, de jure denied[112]
  •  Belgium – no final decision on non-recognition policy, no official relations with Baltic representatives, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded.[111]
  •  Brazil – official relations with Baltic representatives, save for the Política Externa Independente era.[111]
  •  Chile – no diplomatic relations with USSR.[111]
  •  China – ([113])
  •  Costa Rica – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Colombia – Some relations maintained with Baltic representatives, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Cuba – Some relations maintained, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Denmark – Some relations with Baltic representatives maintained, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Dominica – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  • Flag of Germany.svg West Germany – Recognition of Baltic passports, no final decision on non-recognition policy, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Ecuador – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Ethiopia – no official relations, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Germany – Recognition of Baltic passports, no final decision on non-recognition policy, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Finland – no official relations, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  France – maintained semi official relations with Baltic representatives, no recognition (de facto or de jure) per policy statement[114]
  •  Iceland – no official diplomatic relations[111]
  •  Greece – no official relations, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Iran – no official relations with Baltic representatives[111]
  •  Ireland – no official relations, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[18][111]
  •  Italy – de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Liberia – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Luxembourg – no official relations[111]
  •  Mexico – some relations with Baltic representatives, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  NetherlandsVisa de courtoisie granted to Baltic representatives in London, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Nicaragua – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Norway – no official relations, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Portugal – no diplomatic relations with USSR, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Peru – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Paraguay – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Spain – maintained semi official diplomatic relations, had no diplomatic relations with USSR until 1977. no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Switzerland – some relations maintained, fiduciary of Baltic assets, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  Taiwan – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]
  •  Turkey – no official relations, no final decision on non-recognition policy[111]
  •  United Kingdom – maintained semi official diplomatic relations, de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  United States – maintained official diplomatic relations, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  • Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Union of South Africa – no official relations[111]
  •  Uruguay – maintained official diplomatic relations[111]
  •  Vatican City – maintained official diplomatic relations, no de jure nor de facto recognition accorded[111]
  •  Venezuela – no diplomatic relations with USSR[111]

De jure recognition

Besides the USSR's communist allies, the following governments granted de jure recognition of incorporation in the Soviet Union and governance of the Baltic states according to the August 8, 1960 survey:

  •  Austria – Implicit de jure recognition granted, Baltic passports not recognized
  •  Argentina – Implicit de jure recognition granted, Baltic passports not recognized
  •  Bolivia
  •  Japan
  •  Sweden – Sweden provided shelter, food, medical assistance and financial aid in order to resettle over 30,000 Baltic refugees. It also turned over to the USSR Baltic embassies and bank assets transferred to Sweden for safekeeping and in 1946 deported Baltic legionnaires who has been conscripted into the German army[115]; after the Baltics regained independence, Sweden repaid 2,908 kilograms of gold deposited by Estonia and 1,250 kilograms deposited by Lithuania (in 1992, valued at $47.2 million)[116]
  •  Switzerland [6]
  •  New Zealand [6]
  •  Australia – Australia de jure recognized the Baltic republics as part of the USSR for a time (1974–1975).[6]

Helsinki Accords

The Baltic question was raised during the negotiations of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. During the negotiations the Soviet Union supported the description that declared any attempt of territorial claims to be an act of aggression. The suggestion was opposed by West Germany, by Spain, Ireland and Canada. The Canadian representatives claimed that accepting the Soviet proposal would mean de jure recognition of the Soviet incorporation of the Baltic states. Supported by other NATO members, the final act stated that by peaceful means the borders could be changed. The president of the US and leaders of other NATO member states confirmed in statements that the provision didn't entail recognition of the Baltic states incorporation into the Soviet Union.[117]

Historical considerations

In Northern Europe, the fate of small countries during World War II varied considerably. Denmark and Norway were occupied by Germany; Sweden had to make some concessions but with skillful foreign policy and a credible military it was able to stay out of the war. Both Denmark and Norway restored their sovereignty after the Nazi capitulation.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were again occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union and only regained their independence nearly fifty years later in the aftermath of the Soviet coup of 1991. Finland, which geographically was in a less advantageous position than Sweden, had to endure two wars: the (Winter War and the Continuation War) with territorial losses, and had to bend its foreign policy in favor of the Soviet Union after the war (Finlandization), but it remained independent, capitalist and maintained a democratic political system after World War II.

Wartime expediency

Welles declaration, July 23, 1940, establishing U.S. policy of non-recognition of forced incorporation of the Baltic States

The precedent under international law established by the earlier-adopted Stimson Doctrine, as applied to the Baltics in U.S. Under Secretary of State Sumner declaration of July 23, 1940, defined the basis for non-recognition of the Soviet Union's forcible incorporation of the Baltic states.[118][119] Despite Welles's statement, the Baltics soon reprised their centuries-long role as pawns in the conflicts of larger powers. After visiting Moscow in the winter of 1941–1942, British Foreign Minister Eden already advocated sacrificing the Baltics to secure Soviet cooperation in the war. The British ambassador to the U.S., Halifax, reported, "Mr. Eden cannot incur the danger of antagonizing Stalin, and the British War Cabinet have... agree[d] to negotiate a treaty with Stalin, which will recognize the 1940 frontiers of the Soviet Union."[120] By 1943 Roosevelt had also consigned the Baltics and Eastern Europe to Stalin. Meeting with Cardinal Spellman in New York on September 3, Roosevelt stated, "The European people will simply have to endure Russian domination, in the hope that in ten or twenty years they will be able to live well with the Russians."[121] Meeting with Stalin in Tehran on December 1, Roosevelt "said that he fully realized the three Baltic Republics had in history and again more recently been part of Russia and jokingly added, that when the Soviet armies re-occupied these areas, he did not intend to go to war with the Soviet Union on this point."[122] A month later, Roosevelt related to Otto von Habsburg that he had told the Russians they could take over and control Romania, Bulgaria, Bukovina, Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland.[123] The future was sealed when on October 9, 1944 Churchill met with Stalin in Moscow and penciled out the post-war state of Europe. Churchill recounts: "At length I said, 'Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed that we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an offhand manner? Let us burn the paper.' — 'No, you keep it,' said Stalin."[124] The February 1945 Yalta Conference, widely ascribed as determining the future of Europe, essentially codified Churchill's and Roosevelt's prior private commitments to Stalin not to interfere in Soviet control of Eastern Europe.

Three decades later, hopes on the part of the Baltic states for any active intervention on their behalf were quashed when the United States, European states and Soviet Union signed the Helsinki Accords of 1975 which committed its parties to respecting the established frontiers—avoiding use of the term "borders"—of postwar Europe.[125] Countries such as the United States continued to maintain nonrecognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states. In retrospect, the Baltic states' eventual reestablishment of their independence and borders has been interpreted as vindicating the Accords, which supported human rights and self-determination.[126] However, at the time, from the Soviet point of view—one shared by Baltic activists, who had lobbied against the signing—the Helsinki Accords were an outright victory securing against foreign intervention all of the USSR's post-war territorial adjustments including the Oder-Neisse Line and the annexation of Moldova and the Baltic states.[127]

Soviet sources prior to Perestroika

Up to the reassessment of Soviet history in USSR that began during Perestroika, before the USSR had condemned the 1939 secret protocol between Nazi Germany and itself that had led to the invasion and occupation of the three Baltic countries.[28]

The events in 1939, according to the pre-perestroika Soviet sources, were as follows: The Government of the Soviet Union suggested that the Governments of the Baltic countries conclude mutual assistance treaties between the countries. Pressure from working people forced the governments of the Baltic countries to accept this suggestion. The Pacts of Mutual Assistance were then signed[128] which allowed the USSR to station a limited number of Red Army units in the Baltic countries. Economic difficulties and dissatisfaction of the populace with the Baltic governments' policies that had sabotaged fulfillment of the Pact and the Baltic countries governments' political orientation towards Nazi Germany lead to a revolutionary situation in June, 1940. To guarantee fulfillment of the Pact additional military units entered Baltic countries, welcomed by the workers who demanded the resignations of the Baltic governments. In June under the leadership of the Communist Parties political demonstrations by workers were held. The fascist governments were overthrown, and workers' governments formed. In July 1940, elections for the Baltic Parliaments were held. The "Working People’s Unions", created by an initiative of the Communist Parties, received the majority of the votes.[129] The Parliaments adopted the declarations of the restoration of Soviet powers in Baltic countries and proclaimed the Soviet Socialist Republics. Declarations of Estonia's, Latvia's and Lithuania's wishes to join the USSR were adopted and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR petitioned accordingly. The requests were approved by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The Stalin-edited Falsifiers of History, published in 1948, states regarding the need for the June 1940 invasions that "[p]acts had been concluded with the Baltic States, but there were as yet no Soviet troops there capable of holding' the defenses."[130] It also states regarding those invasions that "[o]nly enemies of democracy or people who had lost their senses could describe those actions of the Soviet Government as aggression."[131]

Russian historiography in the post-Soviet era

The post-Soviet era historians in Russia, who treat Baltic questions, tend not to recognize the events as occupation. Vilnis Sīpols, a Russian historian with Latvian roots argues in his work Diplomatic Secrets. On the Eve of the Great Patriotic War that Stalin's ultimata of 1940 were defensive measures taken because of German threat and had no connexion with the 'socialist revolutions' in the Baltic states[132].

The arguments that the USSR had to annex the Baltic states in order to defend the security of those countries and to avoid German invasion into the three republics can be found in “The Modern History of Fatherland”[133], a textbook for colleges. Similarly, Sergey Chernichenko, a jurist and vice-president of the Russian Association of International Law, argues that from the point of view of international law, the events in 1940 cannot be characterised as occupation. He claims occupation is a Baltic governments' thesis used for justify the 'discrimination of Russian-speaking inhabitants' there[134].

According to the revisionist historian Oleg Platonov "from the point of view of the national interests of Russia, unification was historically just, as it returned to the composition of the state ancient Russian lands, albeit partially inhabited by other peoples." [135]

Position of the Russian Federation

With the advent of Perestroika and its reassessment of Soviet history, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1989 condemned the 1939 secret protocol between Nazi Germany and itself that had led to the division of Eastern Europe and the invasion and occupation of the three Baltic countries.[28]

While this action did not state the Soviet presence in the Baltics was an occupation, the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic and Republic of Lithuania affirmed so in a subsequent agreement in the midst of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia, in the preamble of its July 29, 1991 Treaty between the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic and the Republic of Lithuania on the Basis for Relations between States, declared that the once the USSR had eliminate the consequences of the 1940 annexation which violated Lithuania’s sovereignty Russia-Lithuania relations would further improve.[136]

Meanwhile, Russia's current official position directly contradicts its earlier rapproachement with Lithuania.[137] as well as its signing of membership to the Council of Europe, where it agreed to obligations and commitments including "iv. as regards the compensation for those persons deported from the occupied Baltic states and the descendants of deportees, as stated in Opinion No. 193 (1996), paragraph 7.xii, to settle these issues as quickly as possible...."[138][139] The Russian government and state officials maintain that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states was legitimate[140] and that the Soviet Union liberated the countries from the Nazis.[141] They assert that Soviet troops initially entered the Baltic countries in 1940 following agreements and with the consent of the governments of the Baltic republics. Their position is that the USSR was not in a state of war and was not engaged in combat activities on the territories of the three Baltic states, therefore, the word "occupation" cannot be used.[142] "The assertions about [the] 'occupation' by the Soviet Union and the related claims ignore all legal, historical and political realities, and are therefore utterly groundless."—Russian Foreign Ministry.

Treaties affecting USSR-Baltic relations

Treaties in effect between the USSR and the Baltic countries prior to 1940

After the Baltic states proclaimed independence following the signing of the Armistice, Bolshevist Russia invaded at the end of 1918.[143] Известия (Izvestia) publishing in its December 25, 1918 issue: "Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are directly on the road from Russia to Western Europe and therefore a hindrance to our revolutions... This separating wall has to be destroyed." Bolshevist Russia, however, did not gain control of the Baltics and in 1920 concluded peace treaties with all three states. Subsequently, at the initiative of the Soviet Union,[144] additional non-aggression treaties were concluded with all three Baltic States:


See also

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ 60,740 deaths listed by the Estonian State Commission on Examination of Policies of Repression in The White Book: Losses inflicted on the Estonian nation by occupation regimes. 1940–1991. Tallinn 2005. [1]; 663,000 Latvian and Lithuanian deaths published by Vadim Erlikman. Poteri narodonaseleniia v XX veke: spravochnik. Moscow 2004. Deaths in Soviet and German military are excluded.
  2. ^ 102,000 refugees listed by the Estonian State Commission on Examination of Policies of Repression in The White Book: Losses inflicted on the Estonian nation by occupation regimes. 1940–1991. Tallinn 2005. ISBN 9985-70-195-X [2]; 150,000 Latvian and Lithuanian refugees listed by Misiunas, Romuald and Taagepera, Rein. The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940–1990, University of California Press, expanded & updated edition, October 1, 1993
  3. ^ See appropriate citations at Baltic Operation (1941), Soviet evacuation of Tallinn, Battle of Narva (1944), Tartu Offensive, Baltic Offensive (1944) and Courland Pocket
  1. ^ a b Kavass, Igor I. (1972). Baltic States. W. S. Hein. http://books.google.com/books?id=_LRAAAAAIAAJ&q=Baltic+states&pgis=1#search_anchor. "The forcible military occupation and subsequent annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union remains to this day (written in 1972) one of the serious unsolved issues of international law" 
  2. ^ a b Прибалтийская наступательная операция, 14 сентября - 24 ноября 1944 г BDSA.ru
  3. ^ Misiunas, Romuald and Taagepera, Rein. The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940–1990, University of California Press, expanded & updated edition, October 1, 1993. ISBN 0-520-08228-1
  4. ^ Soviet casualties and combat losses in the twentieth century London: Greenhill Books 1997
  5. ^ Parrott, Bruce (1995). "Reversing Soviet Military Occupation". State building and military power in Russia and the new states of Eurasia. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 112–115. ISBN 1563243601. http://books.google.com/books?id=rhKYfA5x3eYC&pg=PA112&dq. 
  6. ^ a b c d Stefan Talmon.Recognition of Governments in International Law, p.103
  7. ^ Vahur Made (2002). The Baltic Issue during the Cold War. ISBN 952-10-0754-0. pages= 113-129. http://edk.edu.ee/default.asp?object_id=6&id=9&site_id=2. "The European countries generally followed the US practice. The concept of the non-recognition of the Soviet occupation was approved, but not as prominently as Washington did. The moral approach to non-recognition was quite narrow and theoretical. Baltic diplomatic activities were generally rejected. In the United Kingdom the Baltic embassies ceased operations in the 1970s." 
  8. ^ a b The Occupation of Latvia at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia
  9. ^ "22 September 1944 from one occupation to another". Estonian Embassy in Washington. 2008-09-22. http://www.estemb.org/estonia/history/aid-775. Retrieved 2009-05-01. "For Estonia, World War II did not end, de facto, until 31 August 1994, with the final withdrawal of former Soviet troops from Estonian soil." 
  10. ^ Feldbrugge, Ferdinand; Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons (1985). Encyclopedia of Soviet law. BRILL. p. 461. ISBN 9024730759. http://books.google.com/books?id=j7gBESqTciYC&pg=PA461&dq. "On March 26, 1949, the US department of State issued a circular letter stating that the Baltic countries were still independent nations with their own diplomatic representatives and consuls." 
  11. ^ Fried, Daniel (June 14, 2007). "U.S.-Baltic Relations: Celebrating 85 Years of Friendship". http://merln.ndu.edu/archivepdf/EUR/State/86539.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-29. "From Sumner Wells' declaration of July 23, 1940, that we would not recognize the occupation. We housed the exiled Baltic diplomatic delegations. We accredited their diplomats. We flew their flags in the State Department's Hall of Flags. We never recognized in deed or word or symbol the illegal occupation of their lands." 
  12. ^ Lauterpacht, E.; C. J. Greenwood (1967). International Law Reports. Cambridge University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 0521463807. http://books.google.com/books?id=biAQiRhDsb0C&pg=PA62&dq. "The Court said: (256 N.Y.S.2d 196) " The Government of the United States has never recognized the forceful occupation of Estonia and Latvia by the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics nor does it recognize the absorption and incorporation of Latvia and Estonia into the Union of Soviet Socialist republics. The legality of the acts, laws and degrees of the puppet regimes set up in those countries by the USSR is not recognized by the United States, diplomatic or consular officers are not maintained in either Estonia or Latvia and full recognition is given to the Legations of Estonia and Latvia established and maintained here by the Governments in exile of those countries" 
  13. ^ Motion for a resolution on the Situation in Estonia by EU,
  14. ^ Dehousse, Renaud (1993). "The International Practice of the European Communities: Current Survey". European Journal of International Law 4 (1): 141. http://www.ejil.org/journal/Vol4/No1/sr1.html. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  15. ^ European Parliament (January 13, 1983). "Resolution on the situation in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania". Official Journal of the European Communities C 42/78. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Europarliament13011983.jpg. 
  16. ^ European Court of Human Rights cases on Occupation of Baltic States
  17. ^ "Seventh session Agenda item 9". United Nations, Human Rights Council, Mission to Estonia. 17 March 2008. http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G08/117/59/PDF/G0811759.pdf?OpenElement. Retrieved 2009-05-01. "The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 assigned Estonia to the Soviet sphere of influence, prompting the beginning of the first Soviet occupation in 1940. After the German defeat in 1944, the second Soviet occupation started and Estonia became a Soviet republic." 
  18. ^ a b Mälksoo, Lauri (2003). Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Incorporation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Leiden – Boston: Brill. ISBN 9041121773. 
  19. ^ "The Soviet Red Army retook Estonia in 1944, occupying the country for nearly another half century." (Frucht, Richard, Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture, ABC-CLIO, 2005 ISBN 9781576078006, p. 132
  20. ^ "Russia and Estonia agree borders". BBC. 18 May 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4559187.stm. Retrieved April 29, 2009. "Five decades of almost unbroken Soviet occupation of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania ended in 1991" 
  21. ^ Country Profiles: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania at UK Foreign Office
  22. ^ a b The World Book Encyclopedia ISBN 0716601036
  23. ^ The History of the Baltic States by Kevin O'Connor ISBN 0313323550
  24. ^ Saburova, Irina (1955). "The Soviet Occupation of the Baltic States". Russian Review 14 (1): 36–49. doi:10.2307/126075. 
  25. ^ See, for instance, position expressed by European Parliament, which condemned "the fact that the occupation of these formerly independent and neutral States by the Soviet Union occurred in 1940 following the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact, and continues." European Parliament (January 13, 1983). "Resolution on the situation in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania". Official Journal of the European Communities C 42/78. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Europarliament13011983.jpg. 
  26. ^ "After the German occupation in 1941–44, Estonia remained occupied by the Soviet Union until the restoration of its independence in 1991." KOLK AND KISLYIY v. ESTONIA, [3] (European Court of Human Rights 17 January 2006).
  27. ^ David James Smith, Estonia: independence and European integration, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0415267285, pXIX
  28. ^ a b c The Forty-Third Session of the UN Sub-Commission at Google Scholar
  29. ^ Combs, Dick (2008). Inside The Soviet Alternate Universe. Penn State Press. pp. 258,259. ISBN 9780271033556. http://books.google.com/books?id=U9twRiRKd6wC&pg=PA258&dq. "The Putin administration has stubbornly refused to admit the fact of Soviet occupation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia following World War II, although Putin has acknowledged that in 1989, during Gorbachevs reign, the Soviet parliament officially denounced the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact of 1939, which led to the forcible incorporation of the three baltic states into the Soviet Union." 
  30. ^ Bugajski, Janusz (2004). Cold peace. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN 0275983625. http://books.google.com/books?id=YOeeyIT6B4wC&pg=PA109&dq. "Russian officials persistently claim that the Baltic states entered the USSR voluntarily and legally at the close of World War II and failed to acknowledge that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were under Soviet occupation for fifty years." 
  31. ^ Baltic Military District globalsecurity.org
  32. ^ Baltic League, TIME Magazine, June 02, 1924
  33. ^ No Philosophical Abstractions, TIME Magazine, April 16, 1934
  34. ^ The Soviet occupation and incorporation at Encyclopædia Britannica
  35. ^ a b c Text of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, executed August 23, 1939
  36. ^ Christie, Kenneth, Historical Injustice and Democratic Transition in Eastern Asia and Northern Europe: Ghosts at the Table of Democracy, RoutledgeCurzon, 2002, ISBN 0700715991
  37. ^ Estonian State Commission on Examination of Policies of Repression (2005). The White Book: Losses inflicted on the Estonian nation by occupation regimes. 1940–1991. Estonian Encyclopedia Publishers. http://www.just.ee/orb.aw/class=file/action=preview/id=12709/TheWhiteBook.pdf. 
  38. ^ http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-37264/Baltic-states Baltic states, WWII losses] at Encyclopædia Britannica
  39. ^ Moscow's Week at Time Magazine on Monday, October 9, 1939
  40. ^ a b The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by David J. Smith, Page 24, ISBN 0415285801
  41. ^ Tannberg. Tarvel. Documents on the Soviet Military Occupation of Estonia, Trames, 2006.
  42. ^ Baltic states :: Soviet occupation – Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  43. ^ Minus a Member at Time magazine on Monday, Dec. 25, 1939
  44. ^ Mikhail Meltyukhov Stalin's Missed Chance p. 198, available at [4]
  45. ^ Pavel Petrov, p. 153
  46. ^ Pavel Petrov, p. 154
  47. ^ (Finnish) Pavel Petrov at Finnish Defence Forces home page
  48. ^ (Russian) documents published from the State Archive of the Russian Navy
  49. ^ Pavel Petrov, p. 164
  50. ^ The Last Flight from Tallinn at American Foreign Service Association
  51. ^ a b Five Years of Dates at Time magazine on Monday, Jun. 24, 1940
  52. ^ Germany Over All, TIME Magazine, June 24, 1940
  53. ^ For Lithuania see, for instance, Thomas Remeikis (1975). "The decision of the Lithuanian government to accept the Soviet ultimatum of June 14, 1940". LITUANUS, Lithuanian Quarterly journal of Arts and Sciences 21 (4 – Winter 1975). http://www.lituanus.org/1975/75_4_02.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  54. ^ see report of Latvian Chargé d'affaires, Fricis Kociņš, regarding the talks with Soviet Foreign Commissar Molotov in I.Grava-Kreituse, I.Feldmanis, J.Goldmanis, A.Stranga. (1995) (in latvian). Latvijas okupācija un aneksija 1939–1940: Dokumenti un materiāli. (The Occupation and Annexation of Latvia: 1939–1940. Documents and Materials.). pp. 348–350. http://www.historia.lv/alfabets/L/la/okupac/dokumenti/kocins/1940.21.06..htm. 
  55. ^ for Estonia see, for instance, Tanel Kerikmäe, Hannes Vallikivi (2000). "State Continuity in the Light of Estonian Treaties Concluded before World War II". Juridica International (I 2000): 30–39. http://www.juridica.ee/international_en.php?document=en/international/2000/1/22575.ART.0.pub.php. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  56. ^ nearly 650,000 according to Kenneth Christie, Robert Cribb (2002). Historical Injustice and Democratic Transition in Eastern Asia and Northern Europe: Ghosts at the Table of Democracy. RoutledgeCurzon. pp. 83. ISBN 0700715991. http://books.google.com/books?visbn=0700715991&id=liV7upFWBb8C&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&sig=EEeRpxGm9rGcZCT3B5dxPHpQiPQ#PPA79,M1. 
  57. ^ Stephane Courtois; Werth, Nicolas; Panne, Jean-Louis; Paczkowski, Andrzej; Bartosek, Karel; Margolin, Jean-Louis & Kramer, Mark (1999). The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-07608-7.
  58. ^ The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania p.19 ISBN 0415285801
  59. ^ Estonia: Identity and Independence by Jean-Jacques Subrenat, David Cousins, Alexander Harding, Richard C. Waterhouse ISBN 9042008903
  60. ^ June 14 the Estonian government surrendered without offering any military resistance; The occupation authorities began...by disarming the Estonian Army and removing the higher military comman from power Ertl, Alan (2008). Toward an Understanding of Europe. Universal-Publishers. p. 394. ISBN 1599429837. http://books.google.com/books?id=X9PGRaZt-zcC&pg=PA394&dq. 
  61. ^ the Estonian armed forces were disarmed by the Soviet occupation in June 1940 Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. Scarecrow Press. p. 111. ISBN 0810849046. http://books.google.com/books?id=XKWRct15XfkC&pg=PA111&vq. 
  62. ^ Baltic States: A Study of Their Origin and National Development, Their Seizure and Incorporation Into the U.S.S.R. W. S. Hein. p. 280. http://books.google.com/books?id=_LRAAAAAIAAJ&q=Rahva+Omakaitse&dq=Rahva+Omakaitse&lr=&ei=dKhdSbqmFIvuMoea6OcM&client=firefox-a&pgis=1. 
  63. ^ "The President of the Republic acquainted himself with the Estonian Defence Forces". Press Service of the Office of the President. December 19, 2001. http://vp2001-2006.vpk.ee/en/duties/press_releases.php?gid=12614. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  64. ^ (Estonian)51 years from the Raua Street Battle at Estonian Defence Forces Home Page
  65. ^ 784 AE. "Riigikogu avaldus kommunistliku režiimi kuritegudest Eestis" (in Estonian). Riigikogu. http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/saros/0115/011510004.html. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  66. ^ Lohmus, Alo (10 November 2007). "Kaitseväelastest said kurja saatuse sunnil korpusepoisid" (in Estonian). http://www.postimees.ee/161107/esileht/ak/294586.php. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  67. ^ "Põlva maakonna 2005.a. lahtised meistrivõistlused mälumängus" (in Estonian). kilb.ee. 22 February 2005. http://www.kilb.ee/polva05_1.htm. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  68. ^ Misiunas & Taagepera 1993, p. 20
  69. ^ in addition to the envoys accredited in Baltic countries, Soviet government sent the following special emissaries: to Lithuania: Deputy Commissar of Foreign Affairs Dekanozov; to Latvia: Vishinski, the representative of the Council of Ministers; to Estonia: Regional Party Leader of Leningrad Zhdanov. "Analytical list of documents, V. Friction in the Baltic States and Balkans, June 4, 1940 – September 21, 1940". Telegram of German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office. http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/nsr/nsr-05.html#14. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  70. ^ a b Misiunas & Taagepera 1993, p. 26–7
  71. ^ Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalities, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973
  72. ^ Mangulis, Visvaldis (1983). "VIII. September 1939 to June 1941". Latvia in the Wars of the 20th century. Princeton Junction: Cognition Books. ISBN 0912881003. http://www.historia.lv/publikacijas/gramat/mangulis/08.nod.htm. 
  73. ^ Švābe, Arvīds. The Story of Latvia. Latvian National Foundation. Stockholm. 1949.
  74. ^ a b O'Connor 2003, p. 117
  75. ^ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-37264/Baltic-states Baltic states German occupation] at Encyclopædia Britannica]
  76. ^ Jewish Executions Carried Out by Einsatzgruppe A Franz Walter Stahlecker
  77. ^ The Holocaust in the Baltics
  78. ^ The Virtual Jewish History Tour – Estonia
  79. ^ Estonian International Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity
  80. ^ According to the most recent figures from the Latvian State Archives, 1,771 Latvian Jews were deported by the Soviets in June 1941, out of a total 15,424 deportees. Thus Jews made up 11% of the deportees at a time when their share of the total population of Latvia was only around 5%. See: Pelkaus, Elmārs (ed.) (2001) (in Latvian, English, and Russian). Aizvestie: 1941. gada 14. jūnijā. Rīga: Latvijas Valsts arhīvs; Nordik. ISBN 9984675556. OCLC 52264782. 
  81. ^ a b Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, 1996
  82. ^ http://motlc.learningcenter.wiesenthal.org/text/x14/xm1411.html
  83. ^ The Baltic States: The National Self-Determination of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by Graham Smith, p. 91. ISBN 0312161921
  84. ^ Resistance! Occupied Europe and Its Defiance of Hitler by Dave Lande, p. 200. ISBN 0760307458
  85. ^ Mart Laar (2006) (in Estonian). Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis. Tallinn: Varrak. 
  86. ^ By Royal Institute of International Affairs. Information Dept. Published 1945
  87. ^ The West rewrites history, too by Alexander Bukh, Asia Times, June 2005.
  88. ^ David James Smith, Estonia: independence and European integration, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0415267285. p33
  89. ^ Mälksoo, Lauri (2001). "Soviet Genocide? Communist Mass Deportations in the Baltic States and International Law". Leiden Journal of International Law 14: 757–787. 
  90. ^ Hiden, John (2007-04-01). "The Hidden and Forbidden History of Latvia under Soviet and Nazi Occupations 1940-1991: Selected Research of the Commission of the Historians of Latvia.". The Slavonic and East European Review (Modern Humanities Research Association) 85 (2): 364. 
  91. ^ Terry, James P. (1992). "Lithuanian Independence and International Law: A Retrospective Examination". Naval Law Review: 133. 
  92. ^ Rieber, Alfred J. (2003). "Civil Wars in the Soviet Union". Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (Slavica Publishers) 4 (1): 129–162. ISSN 1538-5000. 
  93. ^ Made, pp. 143–148
  94. ^ Talmon, Stefan (2001). Recognition of Governments in International Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 103. ISBN 9780198265733. http://books.google.com/books?id=scc8EboiJX8C&pg=PA103&dq. 
  95. ^ Aust, Anthony (2005). Handbook of International Law. Cambridge University Press,. pp. 26. ISBN 0521823498. http://books.google.com/books?id=EqO9rKIcoQMC&pg=PA26. 
  96. ^ Diplomats Without a Country: Baltic Diplomacy, International Law, and the Cold War by James T. McHugh , James S. Pacy, Page 2. ISBN 0313318786
  97. ^ Hiden, p.46
  98. ^ a b Hiden, pp. 63–64
  99. ^ James T. McHugh, James S. Pacy, p.101
  100. ^ Petersen, Roger Dale. Resistance and rebellion: lessons from Eastern Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 206. ISBN 0521770009. http://books.google.com/books?id=Udl9U-0OY9gC&pg=PA206&dq. 
  101. ^ Strods, Heinrihs; Kott, Matthew (2002). "The File on Operation 'Priboi': A Re-Assessment of the Mass Deportations of 1949". Journal of Baltic Studies 33 (1): 1–36. http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/link.asp?id=v39u012674tmk1jj. Retrieved 2008-03-25.  "Erratum". Journal of Baltic Studies 33 (2): 241. http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0162-9778&volume=33&issue=2&spage=241. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  102. ^ Misiunas & Taagepera 1993
  103. ^ Background Note: Latvia at US Department of State
  104. ^ a b Hiden, pp.34–35
  105. ^ Hiden, . 77
  106. ^ Dissolution, continuation, and succession in Eastern Europe By Brigitte Stern, pp. 60–61
  107. ^ The Baltic states By David James Smith, p. 142
  108. ^ Baltic Yearbook of International Law By Ineta Ziemele, p.115
  109. ^ Russia and the new states of Eurasia By Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott, p. 184
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