Lithuania Between 1944 and 1989
Already one of the Soviet socialist republics, since 1991 it has been an independent state within the Commonwealth of Independent States formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has an area of 65,200 km 2 and a population which, at the 1989 census, was equal to 3,689,779 residents. Of these, 80% is represented by Lithuanians, 9.4% by Russians and 7% by Poles. The capital, Vilnius, had 596,000 residents. in 1992; other cities of a certain demographic and economic consistency are Kaunas, Klaipeda, Šiauliai and Penevėžys. Lithuanian, a European language of the Baltic group, was proclaimed the official language in 1989, replacing Russian. The dominant religion is the Catholic one, with Lutheran minorities. For Lithuania 2019, please check philosophynearby.com.
Lithuania, together with the other Baltic republics with which the new state entered into a cooperation agreement in 1990, is trying with great difficulty to become autonomous in terms of production, after forty years of integration into the Soviet economy. The prevailing economic activity remained agriculture: cereals and sugar beet should be mentioned among the most widespread crops. Livestock breeding is also intensely practiced, while the presence of a good forest heritage feeds the timber industry. The industry has about 700,000 employees; it is largely connected to the primary sector, but is also developed in the metallurgical and electromechanical sectors. In 1990, the exploitation of a small oil field began, located near Kretinga.
History. – When in 1944 the Soviet government regained control of Lithuania started a process of homologation, collectivizing agriculture, expanding the industrial base, banning political parties with the exclusion of the communist one. All forms of opposition were severely repressed and some 350,000 Lithuanians were deported. Discretionary movements of moderate consistency revived in the sixties and seventies, but only with the coming to power of Gorbachev was there a significant turning point that led to the establishment of real organized political forces of nationalist inspiration, such as the Lithuanian Movement for reconstruction (Sajudis). These new opposition formations gave rise in the course of 1988 to increasingly massive mass demonstrations against Russification, but, above all, for the recognition of Lithuanian as an official language. This last request was accepted and ratified in November 1988 by the Supreme Soviet, which also restored some old symbols of the Lithuanian state. The readiness to reform shown by the local Communist Party, led by A. Brazauskas since October 1988 (some buildings were returned to the Catholic Church, the anniversary of independence became a national holiday again), did not prevent the representatives of the Sajudis from conquering 36 of the 42 seats available in the elections for the Pan-Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies, held in March 1989. This result determined a further accentuation of the reformist and autonomist tendencies of the Communist Party and on May 18 the Supreme Soviet approved a declaration of independence which supported the supremacy of Lithuanian laws over those of the Union. In a climate of increasing mobilization, which saw more than a million people participate in the human chain from Tallinn to Vilnius on the fiftieth anniversary of the German-Soviet pact, further measures were introduced in favor of freedom of religion and association. In December the Communist Party, despite Gorbachev’s pressure and a split within it, declared its independence from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and adopted a program in favor of multi-partyism and national independence. The new Supreme Soviet, resulting from the elections of February-March 1990 and composed mostly of deputies from the Sajudis, electedV. Landsbergis as president, leader of Sajudis himself, and declared independence on 11 March, changing its name to the Supreme Council and restoring the ancient name of the Republic of Lithuania. On 17 March the communist exponent K. Prunskiene was appointed prime minister, while the Pan-Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies condemned the declaration of independence as unconstitutional and Soviet troops occupied some buildings of the Communist Party and the offices of newspapers. In mid-April the economic embargo, with particular regard to the supply of fuel, was imposed by the USSR and lasted until June, when the Lithuania agreed to suspend the declaration of independence for six months. In January 1991, faced with the failure to start negotiations between the two governments and after the agreed six months, Landsbergis announced the end of the suspension. In response to this decision, troops of the Soviet Interior Ministry immediately occupied public buildings and attacked the radio and television offices on the night between 13 and 14 January, causing 13 deaths and about 500 injuries among the population, which had mobilized. in bulk. Meanwhile (January 8) disagreements that arose in the government regarding domestic policy choices had led to the resignation of the prime minister who was replaced by G. Vignorius. The Soviet intervention increased popular support for the decisions of the Supreme Council and on 9 February, in the referendum called by the Supreme Council itself, 90% of the voters (84% of those entitled to participate) declared themselves in favor of independence. The Lithuania boycotted instead, together with five other republics, the referendum on the future of the Soviet Union, which took place in March. The following months were marked by armed clashes between Soviet troops and Lithuanian border guards on the border with Belarus, until the failure of the coup in Moscow in August 1991 marked the end of the controversy. The government banned the Communist Party and ordered the removal of Soviet troops from the territory of the republic, while over 40 states announced the recognition of the Law and the opening of diplomatic relations. On 6 September the State Council of the USSR also recognized the independence of Lithuania, and on the 17 of the same month the new republic became part of the United Nations. In November the Supreme Council confiscated the assets of both the Lithuanian Communist Party and the Soviet one and at the same time, in order to restore a market economy, it liberalized the prices of even basic necessities. Also in November, violent controversies broke out at the time of the full application of the citizenship law, approved in November 1989. The new legislation, which recognized citizenship only to those who had resided in Lithuania for at least ten years, was considered disrespectful of ethnic minorities, especially Russian and Polish, already deprived of administrative autonomy in the districts where they made up the majority of the population. During 1992 the serious economic crisis and the growing tension towards within the government structure, they cracked the solidity of the consensus for the Sajudis, and in May a referendum rejected Landsbergis’ proposal to establish a presidential republic. This decline in consensus was sensationally confirmed in the general elections held in October, which recorded the clear affirmation of the Democratic Labor Party (heir to the independent faction of the Lithuanian Communist Party), led by A. Brazauskas.