Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, despite distinct languages and cultural and religious differences, are closely linked not only by geography, but by common interests and historical experience. All three were incorporated into the Tsarist Empire, all three enjoyed a period of independence after the First World War, and all three were annexed by the Soviet Union under the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact, then occupied by the Germans and returned again to Stalinist domination from 1944. Russian immigration and policies of Russification began after 1945, and substantial Russian minorities complicated later moves towards national autonomy. There was a degree of continuing resistance to Moscow rule after 1945, at first primarily through guerrilla warfare, and from the 1960s taking the form of nonviolent dissent. When Gorbachev’s reforms opened the way to mobilization and electoral choice, all three countries moved towards greater national autonomy and then independence from 1987-1991.
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C. I.2.d. Revolution in the Baltic States, 1987-1991
Covers the period from 1945, including detailed discussion of 1988-90 moves towards independence (chapters 8-12) giving weight to role of nonviolent resistance.