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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 29, 1940

THE CHARGé IN THE SOVIET UNION (THURSTON) TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

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    The Soviet Union threatens intervention in Lithuania due to the alleged "disappearance of men from Soviet military garrison established in Lithuania."
    "The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Thurston) to the Secretary of State," May 29, 1940, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Foreign Relations of the United States Diplomatic Papers, 1940, General, Volume I, Document 354. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/145006
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Moscow, May 29, 1940—midnight.
[Received May 29—9:40 p.m.]

601. A Tass3 communiqué issued tonight states that there have been several recent cases of the disappearance of men from Soviet military garrison established in Lithuania and that these disappearances were organized by persons acting in disguise for organs of the Lithuania Government for the purpose of extorting military information. Student interpreters are cited.

The communiqué states that on May 25th (apparently following unsatisfactory conversations between the two Governments), Molotov notified the Lithuanian Minister at Moscow [Ladas Natkevičius] that the Soviet Union considers the behavior of the Lithuanian Union to be provocative and fraught with grave consequences; demanded the immediate discontinuance of such provocative acts and the return of men still missing; and expressed the hope that Lithuania will follow the course suggested and not compel the Soviet Union to take other measures.

Repeated to Riga and Kaunas.

Thurston