Remember Bacha

Project Publications

BACHA consortium reached and agreement with Journal: Pasado y Memoria
Q2 Scopus from the University of Alicante
Papers submission deadline: 15th November 2024
Publication: January 2025
Our consortium experts will publish 7 articles researching on the Baltic Chain


We have great news about our project publications. We have agreed with the university of Castilla la Mancha to publish a dossier on the Baltic Chain in their journal Investigaciones Históricas, época moderna y contemporánea. The dossier seeks to scientifically analyze the work of outstanding citizens in the fight against totalitarianism, as an example of Europeanism and intensive work for a better society, a memory of the fight for freedom and a balanced society.

The Baltic Chain was a peaceful political demonstration that took place on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined hands to form a human chain that spanned 675.5 kilometers (419.7 mi) in 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 from the "Black Belt Day" protests held in 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 organized by Baltic civil society movements. The protest was designed to gain global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence and showing solidarity among the three nations. The event provided an opportunity for Baltic citizens to publicize the Soviet occupation and position the issue of Baltic independence not only as a political issue, but also as a moral issue. The Soviet authorities responded to the event with intense rhetoric, but did not take any constructive steps that could close the widening gap between the Baltic republics and the rest of the Soviet Union. After seven months of protest, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its independence.

After the Revolutions of 1989, August 23 has become an official commemoration day both in the Baltic countries, in the European Union and in other countries, known as Black Ribbon Day or as the European Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

The dossier looks for opportunities for a debate on major European historical events beyond national perspectives. The scientific approach highlights the importance of working globally at the European level to solve problems that threaten democracy and freedom, understanding that the past helps foster a debate on how to address current problems in Europe. The dossier includes high-level researchers in the field from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain, analyzing how the Baltic society, organized under the leadership of emotional aspirations, tried to mitigate common problems and how it collided with totalitarian regimes.

The articles proposed for inclusion in the dossier are the following:


Global vision of the dossier with a general presentation of the theme and contents. Introductory article for the dossier in which its priorities, its impact on society and current consequences are broken down. In addition, it includes references to the main obstacles that influenced the Baltic Chain and hindered its implementation from a critical perspective. Finally, it includes the theoretical approach on the framework in which the articles included in the dossier are developed.

2-The end of Baltic independence:

The investigation begins with the German-Soviet Pact signed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on August 23, 1939. It was negotiated by the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. . and marked the end of the independence of the Baltic States. The main themes of this research are the occupation after the Second World War, the Soviet repression, the mass deportations to Siberia, and the political and social consequences of the occupation. The implantation of the communist regime and the social collapse. The research focuses on analyzing the study trends in this regard, providing a global vision of a very extensive subject, but with a functional approach. Besides. Clear examples are presented to explain the lack of freedom and the situation of the local population under the Soviet regime.

The article seeks to critically analyze the loss of independence in order to contextualize the following articles included in the dossier. Therefore, it is an unprecedented investigation that seeks knowledge and provides clairvoyance within a set, which is the dossier on the Baltic Chain.


The Soviet occupation of the Baltic Republics 1939-1991


Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have a troubled history of successive occupations and foreign aggression. Although none was as threatening to its very existence as the forced incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which began a process of cultural absorption and a radical change in the social and economic model. This enormous work of social engineering was accompanied by the repression of the national identity of the three Baltic countries, two-way population movements with Siberia and a lack of absolute freedom.

The analysis of the main consequences of the forced absorption of the Baltic countries within the USSR is the main objective of this research.

3- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania facing the challenge of independence.

Historical analysis of the internal situation of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the occupation to the organization of the Baltic chain.

It is essential the investigation focuses on the importance of the complicated process of independence of the three Baltic republics. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania suffered from the military occupation of the Soviet Union for almost 50 years until they regained their independence in 1991.

The crises in the Soviet Union, both economic and political, were staged, where reforms were unavoidable. As a result, the impact of the Soviet Union was greatly weakened regionally and globally. The failed attempts to reform the Soviet Union were a window of opportunity for the Baltic republics to awaken their sovereignty after years of dependency. Key part of this article.

Finally, the research focuses on what were the first steps taken for the independence of the Baltic countries before the Baltic Chain to contextualize it effectively. The first major demonstrations in this new situation began in Riga in 1986, followed by Tallinn in 1987. Key people were encouraged by these small protests, and by the end of 1988 the reformist wing had gained decisive positions in the Baltic republics. Estonians made Estonian the state language again in January 1989, and similar legislation was passed soon after in Latvia and Lithuania. The intention to establish sovereign nations was declared in Estonia in 1988 and in Lithuania and Latvia in 1989.


The beginning of the end, the first symptoms of exhaustion of the USSR in the Baltic Republics.


Despite the great repression suffered by the population of the Baltic Republics and the relative social peace once the repression was softened after the death of Stalin, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania maintained a differential consciousness with the rest of the Soviet Union. At the same time, the Soviet inability to maintain a coherent and sustainable socio-economic system opened deep cracks in search of reforms. This moment is used by the Baltic Republics to find their own alternative corporate model. Understanding the correlation between the Soviet crisis and the differential path of the Baltics is the main objective of this publication.

4- Legal aspects related to the Baltic Chain.

Historical-legal analysis of the implications derived from the Baltic Chain, with special emphasis on the independence of the three States.

The Baltic thesis of its unbroken continuity has not only been a legal theory representing Soviet times as an illegal foreign occupation. Lennart Meri, President of Estonia, affirmed that the state power in Estonia or the Estonian conception of the State, or, if desired: the philosophy of the State, is based on the continuity of the previous State, and can be applied in the same way to the other two Baltic countries. During five decades of Soviet rule in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the doctrine of the continuity of the state undermined the legality and legitimacy of Soviet rule in the Baltic states and supported the claims for independence of Baltic refugees in the West and dissidents. When Soviet leaders tried to dictate conditions for the secession of the Baltic republics from the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian politicians claimed that anyone who has not joined voluntarily and legally cannot discuss disassociation, simply claiming that the illegal status created by the USSR had to be terminated. This research presents these legal problems as part of the whole dossier to understand in a coherent way what the Baltic Chain meant and what were the legal pillars on which it was based.


The Baltic Chain: Legal and Historical Aspects of Baltic Independence.


Despite the long period within the Soviet Union, politicians, academics and historians from the three Republics affirm that the Baltic Chain did not lead to the independence of its participants, but to the continuity of the previous State. Therefore, it is necessary to elucidate which are the legal and historical arguments that define the consequences of the Baltic Chain, independence or liberation. These legal implications have great significance in the relations of the three countries with Russia, heir to the USSR. Likewise, the European membership of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, communitize the dilemma and future relations with Russia, already complicated by the war in Ukraine.

The historical/legal analysis helps to understand the Soviet heritage and the future relationship between the European Union and Russia.

5- The independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: Analysis of the impact of the Baltic Chain on the independence process of the three republics.

The article analyzes what was the true impact of the Baltic Chain on the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from a sociopolitical point of view. For which, the investigation begins with a partial vision of the impact in each of the three selected countries, to advance by presenting a common vision. The investigation also has a critical version that demystifies a social movement already part of the collective imagination of the three Baltic republics.


The Baltic Chain as a trigger for Baltic independence.


The Baltic Chain was a social movement that united three different societies, but with a common objective, independence. The article coherently presents three partial visions, to present a common approach to a process that peacefully unleashed a common social energy that went beyond all logic and led to the dismemberment of the USSR. The article gives importance to the peaceful essence of the Baltic Chain, to its great capacity for social integration and to its consequences.

6- The controversy of the compensations of the USSR to the new republics. Analysis of the controversy generated after independence around the compensations linked to the Soviet impact in the territory of the three Baltic republics.

The three Baltic countries say they will "scientifically" calculate the losses caused by nearly five decades of Soviet occupation and seek compensation from Russia. Estonian Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu said on November 6, 2021 that his country Latvia's claim would be legally justified because Russia has declared itself the successor to the Soviet Union after it broke up in 1991. The Baltic countries have spoken of compensation before, but have never submitted a concrete amount. Russia has repeatedly rejected all requests by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for compensation for damages for Soviet rule.

The controversy is analyzed and presented critically, avoiding populism and having the most scientific approach possible.


After Baltic independence: The difficult relations with Russia and the controversial issue of compensation.


The independence initiated by the Baltic Chain, represented a radical change with the Soviet past and greatly affected relations with Russia. The fear of a new occupation, or of a rapprochement of the local population of Russian origin to the Moscow authorities, influenced the relations of the new Republics with Russia. It is necessary to analyze the general causes of strained relations between those involved, and the effect that the claim for compensation has had in this regard as a central issue within a relationship based on mutual distrust.

7- European Consequences of the Baltic Chain: Ribbon Day, protests held in western cities in the 1980s.

How democracy, freedom, solidarity and other factors of European identity are important in today's Europe. This last analysis will also focus on citizen participation in the European Union and the defense of freedom and democracy. Work will be done on the importance of citizens in resisting the authoritarian behavior of some governments of the Member States.


The Baltic Chain: Consequences and current impacts in the European Union


The Baltic Chain marked the beginning of the liberation process for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which soon after applied for membership in the European Union. One of his most relevant contributions to the process of European construction is related to ideas and principles defended by the Baltic Chain, such as solidarity, democracy, freedom, etc. The analysis of the impact of the Baltic Chain in Europe helps to understand the role of the three countries within the community framework through their contributions in terms of values that enrich the common European project.

Project trip:

We will make a project trip with a partner from each member of the consortium following the Baltic Chain for two weeks in August 2024.
Please, follow our Facebook for further news!