“But they were welcomed by the vast majority of people in those countries which had suffered under the most brutal occupations imaginable until those Russian forces drove the Nazis and their allies out.”
Are you forgetting that for Eastern European Countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia this was the Second Coming of the Soviets? They were invaded first by Russia, then by Germany, then again by Russia. When the German Army drove the Russians out of Lithuania, they were greeted as liberators, especially by the businessmen and professionals on death row awaiting execution as Capitalists. I know this for a fact because many of these people ended up in Australia as “Displaced Persons” after WW2, and they told me that they retreated with the German Army, knowing the Commissars would execute them if they stayed. A friend of mine’s father was a veterinarian, University trained and therefore an enemy of the people, freed by the Germans and given employment looking after the horses used to move their artillery. I had thought the German Army was entirely mechanised, but apparently they still used draught horses for some jobs. Maybe the Nazis treated these people better because they were already enemies of Russia? “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Anyway, I’m sure the Red Army was welcomed in some places where they were arriving for the first time as liberators, they were not welcome where they returned to countries they had already invaded before.