The exact borders of countries to the East of the former Iron Curtain - and their multiple shifts throughout history - remain a mystery to everyone in all of Western Europe, let alone further abroad, like in the US. And until this day, most Russians will still consider anything that was part of the former Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union as "Russia" - no matter which country it belongs to according to current international law.
Jonathan Franzen, for instance, even got a National Book Award for "The Corrections" in which an entire plot line centered around Lithuania going failed state - where he very obviously had confused the Baltic states with the Balkans app. 1200 miles further South. Even at the time of publication in 2001, that was a beyond absurd assumption given Lithuania's political and economic development at that time.