Baltic past and present successes explain Moscow’s schizophrenic propaganda response

The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on 23 August 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 km (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, considered at the time to be constituent republics of the Soviet Union. The demonstration originated in "Black Ribbon Day" protests held in the western cities in the 1980s. It marked the 50th 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. (Image and caption: Wikipedia)

The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on 23 August 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 km (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, considered at the time to be constituent republics of the Soviet Union. The demonstration originated in "Black Ribbon Day" protests held in the western cities in the 1980s. It marked the 50th 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. (Image and caption: Wikipedia) 

Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Russian propaganda about the Baltic countries insists that they are marginal, but the amount of that Moscow effort underscores just the reverse: their success in resisting Sovietization and overcoming a half century of occupation by rejoining the West shows what other former Soviet fiefdoms might be able to do, according to Viktor Denisenko.

Indeed, the Russian commentator says,

“the success of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is important for the entire rest of the post-Soviet space” because it shows “Soviet occupation is not some final geopolitical curse which blocks the acquisition of the principles of liberal democracy and a Western path of development.”

Consequently, when Moscow is talking about the Baltic countries, Denisenko suggests, it is really concerned in the first instance not about Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania but about Georgia and Ukraine and ultimately about all the other non-Russian countries that emerged following the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago.

This explains both the volume and the shrill tone of Russian reaction to the NATO film about “the forest brothers,” the indigenous movement that fought against the Soviet occupation after the end of World War II. Moscow clearly fears that “as a result of NATO’s efforts, the narrative about ‘the forest brothers’ has ceased to be local and become global.”

That is all the more so because NATO forces are now in the Baltics and because recently released documents show the US and other Western governments sought to assist the forest brothers in the 1940s during their unequal battle with Soviet occupiers. On these documents, see “West backed Forest Brothers in Baltic countries, newly declassified CIA documents show.”

Moscow’s dramatic expanse of its information campaign in the Baltic direction including cyberattacks and the spread of false news stories, Denisenko says, shows that the Kremlin is having to adjust itself to a reality very different than the one it has always assumed was the case with regard to the Baltic states.

“Moscow is accustomed to thinking about the West as a false and infirm geopolitical space divided by and even drowning in individualism,” with each country going its own way, he continues. In fact, the united Western response after Putin’s Crimean Anschluss shows that this vision is not true and that NATO is a newly revived force to be reckoned with.

According to Denisenko, “Brussels has boldly shown that it considers the [Russian] threat to the security of the Baltic countries to be real.” But “more than that, NATO “has shown that “in the alliance there are no second-class members. All the territory of NATO is a common zone of security” which can and will be defended.

Related:

Edited by: A. N.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Tony

    Let’s rub it in by reminding the Russian slaves that now decades after the Soviet collapse, the Baltics also enjoy a better economy and more liberties than them. Only thing they can do now is go into denial because they certainly don’t have the potential to evolve their socitey for at least 100 years because they have been mentally bankrupted at every generation.

  • veth

    U.S. Navy to construct maritime operations centre in Ukraine
    The facility will be set up in the country’s south, in Mykolaiv region

    13:21, 16 August 2017
    3000

    US Navy Seabees during construction works in southern Ukraine
    112 Agency
    The U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, widely known as the Navy Seabees, go to Ukraine for construction works to be held in Mykolaiv region. According to the US Naval Institute, the Navy branch will be working on a maritime operations centre on the Black Sea coast – ‘for use during annual U.S. and Ukrainian military exercises and to assist allied maritime operations’.

    ‘Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 are constructing the $750,000 maritime operations center on Ukraine’s Ochakiv Naval Base (Mykolaiv region, southern Ukraine, – 112 International). When complete, the center will serve as major planning and operational hub, conducting command and control of Black Sea-region maritime assets during Sea Breeze, the annual joint U.S. and Ukrainian military exercise (the last one took place last month, – 112 International),’ US Naval Institute’s website reported.

    According to the Institute, the Seabees ‘have been in Ochakiv since April, establishing contracts, obtaining construction permits, and performing other logistical necessities needed for long-term sustainment of the maritime operations center. Once complete, the Navy stated Ukrainian naval forces will operate and maintain the center. Outside of the annual Sea Breeze exercise, the center will assist Ukraine’s ability to coordinate activities with allies operating in the Black Sea’.

    The Seabees are the naval construction force of the U.S. Navy. Their nickname is a heterograph of the first initials “C.B.” from the words ‘Construction Battalion’. They have been serving as a subdivision of the U.S. Navy since 1942.

    • zorbatheturk

      Aha!

  • veth
  • zorbatheturk

    ” a geopolitical curse “. What a great way to describe Soviet AKA RuSSian oppression! Brilliant!