Lithouania

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The first country with the name of Lithuania was established on July 6th, 1253, when Mindaugas, who united a number of Batlic tribes, was crowned King of Lithuania. Although he was assasinated in 1263, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by the end of the 14th Century was one of the largest European states, including present day Belarus and Ukrain and also parts of Poland and Russia.
In 1385 the then ruling Grand Duke Jogaila, accepted becoming the King of Poland, creating an union between Poland and Lithuania which finally was established formally in 1569 as a Commonwealth.
In 1772, 1792 and 1795, the Russian Empire, Prussia and Austria ruled the region and partitioned the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between themselves.

During the First World War, the COuncil of Lithuania declared independence of the Republic of Lithuania on February 16th, 1918. Straight away there were major disputes on territory with Poland and Germany. The Polish Army occupied the Vilnius Region and annexed it in 1922. The Klaipeda Region was lost to Germany by revolution.

After the German-Soviet invasion of Poland, the Soviets gave Vilnius back to Lithuania, but occupied the complete nation in June 1940. In 1941, the German forces occupied Lithuania. When the Soviets drove the German forces out of Lithuania in 1944, they annexed Lithuania as a Soviet State, after 1945 the Lithuanian SSR. Although between 1944 and 1952 a guerrilla war excisted in Lithuania, the Soviet system was imposed upon the Lithuanian inhabitants.

In the late 1980's, an anti-Soviet independence movement, the Sajudis was established, who proclaimed Lithuania's independence again on March 11th, 1990. The new state was first recognized by Iceland on February 4th, 1991 and received formal UN recognition on September 17th, 1991. In 2004 Lithuania became a full member of the NATO and the European Union and on December 21st, 2007 member of the Schengen Agreement.
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