On this day: Russia’s mass deportations of the Baltic peoples began.

Estonian children who had been forcibly deported to Siberia by Russian authorities. 1952.

Estonian children in Siberia in 1952

Operation Priboi (“Coastal Surf”) was the code name for the Soviet mass deportation from the Baltic states on 25–28 March 1949. The action is also known as the March deportation by Baltic historians. More than 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deported to forced settlements in inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union.

Over 70% of the deportees were women and children under the age of 16.

On this day: the beginning of the June Deportation

The Kremlin began its mass deportation of the people of the Baltic countries and Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Poland on the 14th of June, 1941. Tens of thousands of people were moved from their homes in regions occupied and annexed by Russia.

Many people did not survive.

Deportation taking place in Latvia:

Latvia_deportation The Kremlin began its mass deportation of the people of the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Poland on the 14th of June, 1941. russia.

Remember this?: Russians rioting over Estonia

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April 2007: Russians riot after Estonians relocated a Soviet statue in Tallinn, their own capital city, what came to be known as Bronze Night. The worst of it was on the night of the 26th and 27th of April.

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I was in Tallinn a few days after this happened – and in Russia a week after that. The destruction in Estonia’s capital was disgraceful. To go around smashing every shop window because the Estonian people didn’t want blatant reminders of Soviet oppression in their city centre? I’ll never understand the mentality that causes the Russian propaganda machine to encourage behaviour like this.