The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom, Estonian: Balti kett, Latvian: Baltijas ceļš, Lithuanian: Baltijos kelias) was a peaceful political desmontration that occured on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres(370 mi) across the three Baltic states of Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR. It marked the 50th aniversary 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, which led to the 1940 Russian occupation and annexation of the Baltic states. The event was organized by Rahvarinne of Estonia, Popular Front of Latvia, and Sajudus of Lithuania - Baltic pro-independence organizations. The protest was designed to interest global attention of the illegal ocucpations of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union, and for the Baltic activitist to publicise the occupation and to question it not as a political matter, but as a moral issue. Soviet authorities in Moscow responded to the event with intense rhetoric, but failed to take any constructive actions that could bridge the widening gap between the Baltic states and the Soviet Union. Within six months from the protest, Lithuania became
the first of the Republics of the Soviet Union to declare independence.
In 2009, documents documenting the Baltic Way was proved to be part the Memory of the World Register program