In the sanctions war between Russia and the West, Kasia Jankun’s 80 dairy cows seem to be losing.
The sanctions, which are taking a toll on Russia’s economy, cut both ways. And Ms. Jankun and other small farmers in this Baltic nation of three million people are bearing an overwhelming share of the pain from a Russian ban on European dairy products.
Former Soviet bloc countries that, like Lithuania, are part of the European Union and the NATO military alliance might seem safe from the Russian strong-arming that made Ukraine so vulnerable. But in economic standoffs, it is often the most vulnerable that suffer most.
The loss of the Russian market created an oversupply of milk, which pushed prices in Europe well below the break-even point for farmers like Ms. Jankun, whose 250-acre farm in eastern Lithuania lies at the end of a dirt road in rolling country dappled by groves of pine and alder.
“If nothing changes by spring, at these prices, it’s bankruptcy, ” Ms. Jankun, 50, said recently, as she served visitors thick slices of homemade cheese that she sells at outdoor markets to make up for lost income.
Minimalist images of Lithuania in winter by Tauras Beliavcevad.
Tumblr’s HTML editor is again not working properly, so see the top of the post for source.
Photographs by Lithuanian artist Romualdas Požerskis.
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HISTORY MEME | 2/10 moments: Baltic Way
The Baltic Way was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred 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 – Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union.
The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities. It also illustrated solidarity among the three nations. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, and an emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene. The event presented an opportunity for the Baltic activists to publicise the illegal Soviet occupation and position the question of Baltic independence not as a political matter, but as a moral issue. The 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 seven months of the protest, Lithuania became the first of the Republics of the Soviet Union to declare independence.
This cast copper alloy brooch was made by Iron Age residents of the Baltics in the 2nd-3rd centuries CE. It was uncovered by archaeologists in Priekulė, Lithuania.