Black Ribbon Day
Black Ribbon Day marks the anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The pact and its secret protocols divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence and led to the occupation of the Baltic states in 1940.
After the Revolutions of 1989, 23 August has become an official remembrance day both in the Baltic countries, in the European Union and in other countries, known as the Black Ribbon Day or as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. It is an international day of remembrance for victims of totalitarian regimes, specifically Stalinist, communist, Nazi and fascist regimes. The purpose of the Day of Remembrance is to preserve the memory of the victims of mass deportations and exterminations, while promoting democratic values to reinforce peace and stability in Europe.
The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain / Chain of Freedom (Estonian: Balti kett; Latvian: Baltijas ceļš; Lithuanian: Baltijos kelias) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on 23 August 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 690 kilometres (430 mi) across the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which at the time were constituent republics of the Soviet Union.
The event was organised by Baltic pro-independence movements: Rahvarinne of Estonia, the Tautas fronte of Latvia, and Sąjūdis of Lithuania. The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence and showcasing solidarity among the three nations. Seven months after the protest Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.