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Lietuvos Tarybų Socialistinė Respublika
Литовская Советская Социалистическая Республика
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

Flag of Lithuania 1918-1940.svg
19401991 Flag of Lithuania 1989-2004.svg
Flag of Lithuanian SSR.svg Coat of arms of Lithuanian SSR.png
Flag Coat of arms
Capital Vilnius
Official language Lithuanian and Russian
In the Soviet Union:
 - Since
 - Until
July 21, 1940

August 3, 1940
September 6, 1991
 - Total
 - Water (%)
Ranked 11th in the USSR
65,200 km²
 - Total 
 - Density
Ranked 11th in the USSR
3,689,779 (1989)
Time zone UTC + 3
Anthem Anthem of Lithuanian SSR
Medals Leninorder.jpg Order of Lenin

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Tarybų Socialistinė Respublika; Russian: Литовская Советская Социалистическая Республика Litovskaya Sovetskaya Sotsalisticheskaya Respublika), also known as the Lithuanian SSR, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union. It was established after the occupation and later annexation of Lithuania in 1940 and existed until 1990. Between 1941 and 1944, the German invasion of the Soviet Union caused its defacto dissolution. However, with the retreat of the Germans in 1944-1945, Soviet hegemony was re-established. There had been an unsuccessful attempt to establish a Soviet government in Lithuania by the Bolshevik Red Army in 1918-1919.



World War I

The Lithuanian SSR was first proclaimed on 16 December 1918, by the provisional revolutionary government of Lithuania, formed entirely by the Communist Party of Lithuania. The Lithuanian SSR was supported by the Red Army, but it failed to create a de facto government with any popular support as the Council of Lithuania had successfully done earlier. Two months later on 27 February 1919, it was joined by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Byelorussia and they proclaimed the Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (LBSSR or Litbel), which existed for only six months, until 25 August 1919. The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic officially recognized the Republic of Lithuania by signing the Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty on 12 July 1920, thus ending the existence of the fledgling Soviet Republic. It has been suggested that losing the Polish–Soviet War prevented the Soviets from invading Lithuania and re-establishing a Soviet republic at the time.[1][2]

World War II and occupation

Later, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of (August 1939), between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, stated that Lithuania was to be included into the German "sphere of influence", but after the World War II broke out in September 1939 was amended to transfer Lithuania to the Soviet sphere in exchange for Lublin and parts of the Warsaw province of Poland, originally ascribed to the Soviet Union, but by that time already occupied by German forces. The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was established on 21 July 1940 (after Communist rule was forced upon Lithuania following the Soviet invasion of 15 June 1940). On 3 August 1940, a communist government, which had been hastily formed, announced that the Lithuanian SSR would become a part of the Soviet Union, i.e. the 14th constituent republic of the USSR. Its territory was subsequently invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, but with the German reverse of its military fortunes and eventual retreat, Soviet rule was re-established there in July 1944.

1940 Soviet map of the Lithuanian SSR

Legal status

The United States, United Kingdom, and other western powers considered the occupation of Lithuania by the USSR illegal, citing the Stimson Doctrine, in 1940, but recognized all borders of the USSR at post-World War II conferences. In spite of this, the United States refused to recognize the annexation of Lithuania or the other Baltic States, by the Soviet Union, at any time of the existence of the USSR.

In addition to the human and material losses suffered due to war, several waves of deportations affected Lithuania. During the mass deportation campaign of 14–18 June 1941, about 12,600 people were deported to Siberia without investigation or trial, 3,600 people were imprisoned, and more than 1,000 were killed.[3] After the Lithuanian SSR was re-established in 1944, an estimated 120,000 to 300,000 Lithuanians were either killed or deported to Siberia and other remote parts of the Soviet Union.[3] The Potsdam Conference of 1945 attributed the Klaipėda Region to the Lithuanian SSR.

The Lithuanian SSR has regained the independence as Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990, all legal ties of sovereignty were cut with the Soviet Union as Lithuania declared the restitution of its independence. The government of the USSR recognised Lithuania's independence on 6 September 1991.


The 1990 per capita GDP of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was $8,591, which was above the average for the rest of the Soviet Union of $6,871.[4] These were still half or less than half of the per capita GDPs of fellow Baltic adjacent countries Norway ($18,470), Sweden ($17,680) and Finland ($16,868).[4] Overall, in the Eastern Bloc, the inefficiency of systems without competition or market-clearing prices became costly and unsustainable, especially with the increasing complexity of world economics.[5] Such systems, which required party-state planning at all levels, ended up collapsing under the weight of accumulated economic inefficiencies, with various attempts at reform merely contributing to the acceleration of crisis-generating tendencies.[6] Collectivization in the Lithuanian SSR took place between 1947 and 1952.[7]

In popular culture

A minor planet 2577 Litva discovered in 1975 by a Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh is named after the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Snyder, Timothy (2004). The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999. Yale University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 030010586X.,M1. 
  2. ^ Senn, Alfred Erich (September 1962). "The Formation of the Lithuanian Foreign Office, 1918–1921". Slavic Review 3 (21): 500–507. ISSN 0037-6779. 
  3. ^ a b "Background Note: Lithuania". United States Department of State. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  4. ^ a b Madison 2006, p. 185
  5. ^ Hardt & Kaufman 1995, p. 1
  6. ^ Hardt & Kaufman 1995, p. 10
  7. ^ O'Connor 2003, p. xx-xxi
  8. ^ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names - p. 210


  • Hardt, John Pearce; Kaufman, Richard F. (1995), East-Central European Economies in Transition, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 1563246120 
  • Maddison, Angus (2006), The world economy, OECD Publishing, ISBN 9264022619 
  • O'Connor, Kevin (2003), The history of the Baltic States, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0313323550 

External links

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