On August 23, the 31st anniversary of the Baltic Way, some 50,000 people formed a human chain from Vilnius to the Belarusian border to express solidarity with protests in the neighbouring country.
On August 23, 1989, over a million people formed a human chain spanning Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to demand an end to the Soviet occupation. On Sunday, the Freedom Way stretched 32 kilometres from Cathedral Square in central Vilnius to Medininkai, a town close to the Belarusian border.
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An air balloon took off from Cathedral Square and take a 15-metre long Belarusian flag into the sky.
The Freedom Way was followed by a concert and TV marathon in the courtyard of Medininkai Castle. A fundraiser collected money for the BY Help organisation that has been helping injured, detained and persecuted Belarusians and their families since 2017.
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"Freedom is not only a fundamental human right but also a nation's fundamental right. It’s also a daily commitment to defend it from any attempt on it by those who would replace freedom with darkness, oppression and fear,” said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.
"Thirty years ago Lithuania broke its shackles of oppression by forming the Baltic Way with its Latvian and Estonian brothers and showing the world that we are free and, first of all, free in our spirit,” he said.
“Today, time has come for our Belarusian brothers to say the dear word ‘Freedom’.”
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