Leila Roos

Graduation Date


Subject Concentration


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Existential anxiety runs deep for Baltic-Americans. It began with the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian refugees from the Soviet Union who strove to preserve their nations in exile. Post-independence, anxiety over Russian aggression may seem like leftover Cold War paranoia. For many members of the stateside émigré communities, however, fear of Russian expansionism is instead a sober assessment of reality. Looking at what they see as President Putin’s undeclared and unimpeded invasion of Ukraine, they worry that EU and NATO membership may not be enough to ensure the safety of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This article examines Baltic-American anxiety over Russian expansionism, based on interviews with ordinary Baltic-Americans, community leaders and diplomats, in addition to statements from pertinent politicians and analysts, in the context of regional history and current events.



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