On August 20, you can expect lots of flying flags, a general feeling of jubilation in the air and, with the exception of more tourist-oriented businesses, most shops and offices will be closed. The occasion is the Day of Restoration of Independence, which marks the time at the end of the Soviet period when this nation officially declared its divorce from the crumbling USSR. If you’re old enough to recall, this happened during a tense time for the world. Yeltsin was under house arrest in the Crimea, coup organisers were running the Kremlin and the Red army looked poised for another crackdown on the Baltic nations. To everyone’s relief, the coup fell apart, and within days the independence of the Baltic states.
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