Economic blockade of Lithuania in 1990: since the collapse of the USSR

History 01/03/20 Wikipediacommunity blockade of Lithuania in 1990: since the collapse of the USSR

the Economic blockade of the Lithuanian SSR, who wanted to secede from the Soviet Union, had one goal: to prove the Lithuanians that without Moscow they can not survive. However, it only fueled separatist forces in Lithuania, which, despite difficulties, continued its activities aimed at the separation.

In early February 1990, Lithuania began to talk seriously about secession from the USSR. The first step in this direction was the refusal to recognize the Soviet Constitution. It was initiated by members of the opposition movement “sąjūdis”, which received the outcome of local elections in the Supreme Council of the majority. And on 11 March the representatives of Sajudis adopted the Act of restoration of Lithuania’s independence.

the Congress of people’s deputies immediately responded to the scandalous Act, declaring it invalid. At first, Mikhail Gorbachev became the President of the Soviet Union, tried to engage in dialogue with the Lithuanian opposition. However, the futility of this venture forced him to take extreme measures. On 18 April 1990, it imposed an economic blockade of the Republic. On the same day was discontinued the supply of raw materials to the refinery in Mazeikiai, followed by Lithuania off the gas and cut the food supply.

Such measures only stronger rallied the supporters of the idea of self-determination, although with each passing day socio-economic situation in Lithuania is deteriorating. Sugar, salt and margarine remained for two months, the vegetable oil, which until then was imported from Ukraine, swiftly ended. Due to the shortage of raw materials by may 1 in Lithuania remained without work for more than 35 thousands of workers.

Republic decided to respond and introduced counter-sanctions, reducing by 10% the supply in the USSR, meat and dairy products. Along the way, the Lithuanian authorities decided to reconstruct the port of Klaipeda to get the missing raw materials from Western countries. And VSKåre between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed an agreement on the establishment of a Baltic market, which was to reduce the dependence on the Soviet Union.

However, such measures have not produced the desired effect. The authorities were forced to release the prices of food commodities, which instantly tripled. In the Republic had to take food stamps.

“On the radio then regularly gave short programs about how to insulate the apartment or to cook, to save gas and electricity. For example, advised cereals pour boiling water over night in the morning it was a mess,” recalled the activist Race Pelicane.

against the background of a rapidly deteriorating economic situation in Lithuania intensified the Pro-Soviet forces, calling to return under the wing of Moscow. Many enterprises of Vilnius, Kaunas and Siauliai started the strike. There were even attempts to break into the building of the Supreme Council. The Lithuanian government led by Prunskiene Casimiroa urgently canceled the decision to raise prices, and then resigned.

However, massive protests did not stop. The protesters openly called for the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet, and Lithuanian Communists announced the creation of the national salvation Committee of Lithuanian SSR. Often heard slogans in support of the Soviet Union. Its rallies were held and the supporters of independence.

Meanwhile the economic sanctions on Moscow to respect Lithuania turned against the Soviet Union – indeed, in the breakaway Republic, there were about a hundred enterprises of national importance. Acute shortage of electricity supply in Lithuania felt the Kaliningrad region.

In early 1991 Lithuanian crisis on the homestretch. January 8, members of the Pro-Soviet Communist organization “Unity” attempted to break into the building of the Supreme Council. On the night of January 9 to help them were deployed special forces soldiers “alpha”, later in Vilnius the profits of the military unit. Gorbachev demanded that the Lithuanian government to cancel all antisemitsof such acts and the return of the Constitution of the USSR.

In the night from 12 to 13 January, the opposition Pro-independence and Pro-Communist forces reached its apogee. A column of Soviet armored vehicles were thrown to storm the tower. The clashes killed 14 people, and about 600 were injured.

Thanks to the intervention of Boris Yeltsin and a number of Russian politicians, scientists and cultural figures of the carnage was stopped. These days hundreds of thousands of Muscovites came to Manezhnaya square with a demand to Gorbachev to stop the tyranny. Soviet President condemned in the West. All further attempts to regain control over Lithuania by force was doomed.

Subsequently, none of the top Soviet leadership never took responsibility for the military operation in Vilnius. Lithuania became the first Soviet republics that have gained independence. On its initiative in the USSR, started the parade of sovereignties.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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