Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are important countries along the Baltic Sea. Although their territories are small, they have access to the Atlantic Ocean. More importantly, many of the three countries have non-freezing ports. He was innocent and guilty of his crimes. In modern times, small countries could not decide their own destiny. The Baltic Sea coast became a battlefield for Poland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany for a long time, and was eventually occupied by Russia, which aspires to world hegemony.
During the First World War, the successive defeats of the Russian army on the battlefield detonated the domestic social crisis, and the tsar fell in the wave of revolution. After the October Revolution, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia successively established their own Soviet regimes. Due to the interference of the Allied Powers, the three countries became capitalist countries with high vigilance against Soviet Russia.
Coupled with the destruction of the three-year civil war, Soviet Russia could only watch the Three Kingdoms out of their control. However, under Stalin's rule, the Soviet Union quickly became an industrialized country. After it became strong again, it certainly was not reconciled to the shame it once had, and waited for the opportunity to recapture the Baltic Sea coast.
As the first socialist country, the Soviet Union has always been hostile to the West. In order to improve its own international environment, the Soviet Union is still willing to be good-neighborly and friendly: According to Lenin's principle of national self-determination, Soviet Russia recognized the independent status of the three countries in 1920. After the founding of the Soviet Union, it signed non-aggression treaties with the three countries in 1926 and 1932.
The Soviet Union was indeed earnestly fulfilling the treaty at first. In 1927, the Soviet Union stopped Poland’s invasion of Lithuania through diplomatic means and won the formal friendship of the three countries. Under the Versailles system, pacifism prevails. It is naturally best to exert influence on the Baltic Sea coast through peaceful means, and it is more helpful to break the diplomatic deadlock.
On the other hand, the Versailles system was only a truce for two decades. Its excessive slaughter of Germany stimulated national revenge. Under Hitler’s leadership, the Nazi Party gradually won the support of the people. After seizing power, they tore up the "Versailles" Treaty, the world was shrouded in the cloud of war again, which had to arouse the vigilance of the Soviet Union.
Facing the threat of fascism, the Soviet Union pinned its hopes on cooperating with Britain and France. In December 1933, the Soviet Union made a resolution: to establish an effective collective security system in Europe to maintain peace and aggression.
However, the appeasements of Britain and France forced the Soviet Union to turn to self-protection in its diplomatic strategy. After many negotiations failed, the Soviet Union immediately approached Germany to stabilize the roaring war machine: August 23, 1939. On the eve of the war, the "Soviet-German Non-Aggression Treaty" was signed, in which the "Secret Additional Protocol" clearly stated: "Once there are territorial and political changes in the Baltic States, the northern border of Lithuania will be the scope of the interests of Germany and the Soviet Union. Limits.” Germany temporarily admitted the Soviet Union’s interests in order to avoid fighting on the two fronts. This was undoubtedly an instigation for the Soviet Union. In accordance with the spirit of the protocol, the Soviet Union set out to build its own "Eastern Defense Line" to prepare a buffer zone for future wars.
The situation is developing far faster than the Soviet plan. Only 9 days later, Germany blitzed Poland. Seeing that the Germans had won too quickly, the Soviets quickly seized the land under the banner of "protecting the residents of West Ukraine and West Belarus," and divided them into eastern Poland with the Curzon Line as the boundary. Hitler traded Lithuanian sphere of influence.
In the second step, the Soviet Union again launched an undeclared war on Finland under the guise of "defending Leningrad," and seized the sovereignty of Karelia and the lease of the Hanko Peninsula. On the Western Front, less than a year after the war, the German army swept through Western Europe, France was defeated, and the Soviet Union's defense pressure rose sharply. The annexation of the three Baltic countries was carried out in this context.
The preparatory work began after the partition of Poland. On September 19, 1939, the Soviet navy used the excuse to search for Polish submarines into the Tallinn region of Estonia, and also accused Estonia of letting the submarines go.
Taking this as an opportunity, the Soviet Union exerted strong military pressure on the one hand, and invited Estonian Foreign Minister Serter to visit the Soviet Union in the name of signing a business agreement. Only after Serter arrived in Moscow, he realized that this was a "big banquet." Lotov's conversation turned around and he mentioned the submarine incident again, and bluntly said: "The Soviet Union wants to expand its security system, so it must enter the Baltic Sea." After Stalin joined the negotiations, he even demanded that the Red Army be deployed in Estonia and forced Estonia to sign Mutual assistance treaties, called military alliances, are actually military occupation.
On September 28, the two parties formally signed a contract. The Soviet Union obtained the right to build naval and air bases, and could retain up to 25,000 troops. On October 5th and 10th, the Soviet Union followed the same pattern in the other two countries and obtained the same rights. However, at this time the Soviet Union still emphasized respect for the independence and sovereignty of the three countries, and the military was stationed only for the common security of everyone.
The three countries do not buy it, nor will they wait to die. For them, the Soviet Union is the most direct threat, and the Russians cannot be trusted. As early as September 12, 1934, the three countries concluded the "Baltic Sea Pact", which was originally aimed at deepening the cooperative relationship. As Germany became stronger, the positions of the three countries gradually turned pro-Germany, and the anti-Soviet nature of the "Convention" Exposed. In the words of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Molotov: “In 1936, the three Baltic countries began to negotiate a defense alliance with the goal of resisting the powerful Soviet Union.”
The most active is Estonia, because it is the closest to Leningrad. Once the Soviet Union exerts pressure, Estonia will bear the brunt. Therefore, from the very beginning, it purchased large quantities of weapons and equipment from Germany, issued a general mobilization order to the country, and signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany ahead of the Soviet Union. By strengthening its neutral status, Estonia was determined to prohibit Soviet troops from crossing the border. However, the signing of the "Soviet-German Non-aggression Treaty" made him feel that it was futile to have long-sleeved dances between the two major powers, and the mutual assistance treaty of September 28 ended all efforts in vain.
Of course the other two countries are not idle. Since the military occupation of the Soviet Union was unavoidable, the three countries began to gather together to keep warm. The senior officials met frequently behind the Soviet Union, and they were still making false claims on mutual assistance treaties, thinking of ways to reduce the Soviet troops. Molotov saw these actions in his eyes, and it was he who led the subsequent annexation on behalf of the Soviet Union.
1940 was the year of German victories. The three countries consciously had a backing, and the fire intensified: In February, the three-nation joint publication "Baltic Review" was published, which published numerous anti-Soviet propaganda, and even the disappearance of Soviet soldiers occurred in the territory. The incident of being tortured to death was found to be related to the Lithuanian government. The purpose was to steal secrets from the Soviet army and prevent the Soviet army from gaining a foothold. The disappearance of the soldiers finally made the Three Kingdoms guilty of being annexed.
But the division must be famous. The Soviet-Finnish Winter War has greatly damaged the diplomatic credibility of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet army has also suffered heavy casualties. Therefore, force must not be used anymore, but a "peaceful" and "legal" method must be used, which is to allow the three countries to "voluntarily join".
The Soviet Union first targeted Lithuania. On May 25, 1940, Molotov accused the Lithuanian government of taking shelter in the disappearance of soldiers and demanded that Lithuania immediately retrieve the missing soldiers. On June 14, he concluded in a telegram that the three Baltic countries had secretly concluded an anti-Soviet alliance, confirming that the current governments of the three countries were unreliable.
苏联首先针对立陶宛。 1940年5月25日，莫洛托夫（Molotov）指责立陶宛政府在士兵失踪中躲藏，并要求立陶宛立即找回失踪的士兵。 6月14日，他在电报中得出结论，波罗的海这三个国家秘密缔结了一个反苏联盟，确认了这三个国家目前的政府不可靠。
In order to ensure the full implementation of the mutual assistance treaty, on the same day, he also gave a note to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Ulbsis, announcing the decision of the Soviet Union to send additional troops to all important areas including the capital Kaunas; then, he also requested The Lithuanian government has "changed blood" and replaced it with a new government that faithfully implements the mutual assistance treaty. The important thing is that Lithuania cannot delay any response, and must accept them all, otherwise the Soviet army will send troops immediately. Under the coercion of the ultimatum, the Lithuanian government collectively resigned the next day.
Molotov went to Latvia and Estonia non-stop, and announced the same decision as against Lithuania. The two countries knew it was useless to resist, and reluctantly accepted the Soviet Union's request. On July 14th and 15th, the three countries held general elections one after another and established Soviet power. In the new parliament, there was indeed a voice requesting to join the Soviet Union: "Only by joining the brotherly family of the Soviet people, its survival can be guaranteed." In the Soviet Union's view, the "public opinion foundation" is also available, allowing the three countries to "voluntarily The time to join" is ripe.
Finally, on August 3-6, 1940, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia formally joined the Soviet Union, and the "Eastern Defense Line" was established. Facts have proved that the "Eastern Defense Line" is very necessary for the Soviet Union: the border guards discovered that the German army is gathering in East Prussia, and there are more and more reports from other regions. All signs indicate that Germany is about to go to the Soviet Union. As soon as the three countries merged, the Soviet Union began to build fortifications on the new border as a buffer zone for the defense of Leningrad.
Although the Soviet Union's annexation of the three Baltic States was motivated by anti-fascist needs, it is undoubtedly an aggression. Therefore, after the outbreak of the Soviet-German War, quite a few people in the three countries regarded the German army as a savior, but the brutality of fascists disillusioned their hope of independence again. For Hitler, the Baltic Sea coast was only part of the territory of the Third Reich, and was a springboard for attacking the Soviet Union. How could they be given independent protection.
In addition, the annexation of the Soviet Union also drew protests from Western countries. The United Kingdom and the United States refused to acknowledge this result and frozen the assets of the three countries in Britain and the United States. When the war progressed in 1943, the Soviet Union had seized the initiative and began to consider the legality of annexation. Ambassador Livinov pointed out in a letter dated September 9: "Although we have solved this problem in advance, But it still deserves international recognition."
With the formation of the anti-fascist alliance, the public opinion environment has also become favorable. After all, the Soviet Union is the main force in the fight against fascism. In order to cooperate, Britain and the United States changed their previous attitudes and met as much as possible the territorial requirements of the Soviet Union. Small countries once again became victims of compromises between big countries. During the Tehran Conference, Roosevelt had a close talk with Stalin. Roosevelt not only recognized the sovereignty of the three countries in Russian history, but also recognized the current way of annexation-"In order to satisfy the public opinion of the United States and the world, the people of the three Baltic countries should exercise sovereignty... …He personally believed that the people would vote to join the Soviet Union." Roosevelt actually represented the international community’s acceptance of the fait accompli.
In 1944, the Soviet army launched a counterattack and regained the three Baltic states. After that, no country questioned the Soviet Union's sovereignty over the region. It was not until the end of the Cold War that it was dragged down by the rigid system that the three countries re-declared their independence, which opened the prelude to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
This annexation incident is full of controversy due to its anti-fascist intentions. From an outsider’s point of view, we must recognize that it is an aggression that the governments of the three countries are kind to the German fascists and have caused disasters. It must also bear responsibility. To a certain extent, the Soviet Union had to do it as a "necessary evil" in response to the threat of war. How small countries should survive in the cracks between big countries is still a problem that plagues world peace. To
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