Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia hoped the end of communism meant the beginning of a wonderful life

But now many people are cold and fed up

It seems incomprehensible. Less than three years after declaring independence from Moscow and igniting the breakup of the Soviet Union, Lithuanians voted their former communist leaders back into power. But the victory of the freshly named Democratic Labor Party does not presume a return to orthodox communism. It testifies instead to the disappointment of the great expectations in the three Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that the end of Soviet rule would mean the beginning of a wonderful life.

But reality has betrayed expectations, and independence has provoked new conflicts. On a cold afternoon in Riga's Freedom Square, an...

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