Disinfo: Baltic states joined USSR in accordance with international law


The Baltic states joined the Soviet Union in accordance with norms of international law. Thus, the term ‘occupation’ cannot be used here, as no military actions took place. Also, the governments of the Baltic countries accepted the Soviet troops based on a clear agreement between them.


A recurring attempt of historical revisionism aiming at justifying Soviet actions.

On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. The Baltic States were not beneficiaries of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Like other countries mentioned in the pact, they lost their independence and territories. Soviet occupation of the Baltic States lasted for 50 years and resulted in mass deportations and repressions against local populations.

24 December 1989, the Parliament of the USSR, the Congress of the People’s Deputies, adopted a resolution, acknowledging the annexation of the Baltic states as a violation of the USSRs obligations. An English translation of the full text here:

The Congress notes that during this period the relations of the USSR with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were regulated by a system of treaties. Pursuant to the 1920 Peace Treaties and 1926-1933 Non-Aggression Treaties, the signatories were obliged to honour each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability under any circumstances. The Soviet Union had assumed similar obligations to Poland and Finland.

See similar disinformation narratives on history and Baltic states here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Baltic states
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, WWII


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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