The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom; Estonian: Balti kett; Latvian: Baltijas ceļš; Lithuanian: Baltijos kelias; Russian: Балтийский путь Baltiysky put) 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 kilometres (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were 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. 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. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, and an emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene. The event presented an opportunity for the Baltic activists to publicise the Soviet rule and position the question of Baltic independence not only as a political matter, but also as a moral issue. The Soviet authorities responded to the event with intense rhetoric, but failed to take any constructive actions that could bridge the widening gap between the Baltic republics and the rest of the Soviet Union. Within seven months of the protest, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare independence.
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.
- "Baltic Way" | 2019-08-29 | 66 Upvotes 4 Comments
The Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical steel roller coaster designed to kill its passengers. In 2010, it was designed and made into a scale model by Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Urbonas, who has worked at an amusement park, stated that the goal of his concept roller coaster is to take lives "with elegance and euphoria". As for practical applications of his design, Urbonas mentioned "euthanasia" or "execution". John Allen, who served as president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, inspired Urbonas with his description of the "ultimate" roller coaster as one that "sends out 24 people and they all come back dead".
Intermarium (Polish: Międzymorze, Polish pronunciation: [mʲɛnd͡zɨˈmɔʐɛ]) was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning "Between-Seas".
Prospectively a federation of Central and Eastern European countries, the post-World War I Intermarium plan pursued by Polish leader and former political prisoner of the Russian Empire, Józef Piłsudski (1867–1935), sought to recruit to the proposed federation the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The Polish name Międzymorze (from między, "between"; and morze, "sea"), meaning "Between-Seas", was rendered into Latin as "Intermarium."
The proposed federation was meant to emulate the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, that, from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th, had united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Intermarium complemented Piłsudski's other geopolitical vision, Prometheism, whose goal was the dismemberment of the Russian Empire and that Empire's divestment of its territorial acquisitions.
Intermarium was, however, perceived by some Lithuanians as a threat to their newly established independence, and by some Ukrainians as a threat to their aspirations for independence, and while France backed the proposal, it was opposed by Russia and by most other Western powers. Within two decades of the failure of Piłsudski's grand scheme, all the countries that he had viewed as candidates for membership in the Intermarium federation had fallen to the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, except for Finland (which suffered some territorial losses in the 1939–40 Winter War with the Soviet Union).