24 years ago today, March 11, 1990, The country of Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union with the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania. It was the first of the satellite nations which had been occupied by Russia to stretch its wings and test the limits of Gorbachev’s glasnost policies.
This declaration was not immediately acknowledged and was even declared illegal by Gorbachev, who demanded the Act be rescinded. 10 months later came the “January Events,” when soviet forces invaded Vilnius’ TV Tower, killing 14 and injuring hundreds more.
Eventually, in February of 1991, Iceland became the first nation to recognize Lithuania’s independence. The United States followed September 2, 1991 and on September 6, 1991, Russia acknowledged it as well.
Lithuania served as a model for other nations and ultimately led to the collapse of the USSR.
A much more detailed, on the ground report can be found here, courtesy of 15min.lt
Happy Independence Day to my adopted home! In light of recent events, let’s keep this flag waving high and remember all who fought to get it there!