KGB Documents

KGB History in Baltic States

In 1940, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia lost their sovereignty and were occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in a similar scenario. These countries have endured radical transformations of political, economic, social, cultural systems and have suffered enormous losses for people as a result of the mass repression of the 1940s, 1944-53 and the persecution of participants in civil resistance after 1953. The Soviet regime would not have been able to implement these conversions, to carry out repression without its soviet-type secret services, which were wholly under the control of the NKVD, MGB, MVD and since 1954 the KGB of the USSR.

The Soviet regime in the Baltic states dealt with similar tasks: to establish and maintain a coercive regime, to exercise Sovietization, to control and indoctrinate society, to attack the armed resistance of the Baltic nations between 1944 and 1953, or to the civil resistance by peaceful means from the ‘50s – ‘80s. In the international context, the Baltic diasporas were active, with only some active in the USA and others in Scandinavia. The stronger post-war armed resistance in Lithuania led to greater mass repression, and active religious resistance in the ‘60s to ‘80s, because of the strong position of the Catholic Church. The Baltic countries were important parts of the IRON CURTAIN of the USSR, as it had borders (land or sea) with Scandinavia, Poland, and therefore special attention was also paid to the protection and control of these countries. This specificity of the Baltic states influenced the activities of the KGB in the Baltic states. However, the principles and methods used in activities by the KGB were similar across all the Soviet Republics.

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