- Day of Restoration of Independence in Estonia
On 20 August 1991, Estonia declared formal independence during the Soviet military coup attempt in Moscow, reconstituting the pre-1940 state. The Soviet Union recognised the independence of Estonia on 6 September 1991. The first country to diplomatically recognise Estonia's reclaimed independence was Iceland.
- Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
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23 August marks the anniversary of signing the pact of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact from 1939. Officialy, it was the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The public part ot the agreement included a guarantee of non-belligerence by either party towards the other and a commitment that neither party would ally itself to or aid an enemy of the other party. However, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into German and Soviet "spheres of influence". Just one week after the signing of the pact, the Second World War broke out with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. On 17 September, Poland was invaded by the Soviets.
- European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes
23 August, the day in 1939 when Ribbentrop and Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, gained international recognition in the 1980s: first, in North America, political émigrés from the Soviet Bloc staged public “Black Ribbon Day” ceremonies; this was followed by demonstrations in the Baltic republics of the USSR, culminating in the “Baltic Chain” from Tallinn via Riga to Vilnius in 1989. After the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union in 2004, deputies from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States and other new member countries in the European Parliament identified 23 August as the smallest denominator of the enlarged EU’s politics of history. In a discussion process lasting from 2009 to 2011, the Parliament, the Commission and finally the Council of the EU defined 23 August as the “Europe-wide Day of Remembrance of the victims of the totalitarian regimes”.
- Independence Day of Ukraine
Ukrainian Independence Day commemorates the announcement of the Act of Declaration of Independence in 1991.