The Baltic States ....
....comprising Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have over the centuries been the plaything of Great Powers, notably in the modern era, Russia and Germany.
Today, however, all three are nation states firmly embedded in Europe, being both members of NATO and The EU.
Their modern history begins in 1795 when Russia finally became the ruler of all three states, and incorporated them into Russia itself.
They were never accepting of Russian rule, especially Lithuania, and resistance became the default position politically.
Freedom finally arrived at the time of The Russian Revolution in 1917. Yet, this freedom was to be short lived as The Second World War led to aggression, and worse, by both German and Russian troops. The Nazi extermination of Baltic Jews will forever live as an abomination in European collective memory.
At the end of the war all three Baltic States found themselves back under Russian Soviet rule. Their nationhood extinguished.
As Russia itself collapsed the three nations again declared their independence in 1991.
Today they remain in the territorial frontline of The New Cold War between The West and Putin's Russia.
What will the future hold?
A great one volume history is Plakans' "A Concise History of The Baltic States".