Primary Sources

Lithuanian Communist Party Declares Independence


In this proclamation, the political leaders of the Lithuanian national movement made a formal break with the Soviet Communist Party, and by implication with the Soviet government itself. Published as the last of the East European communist governments was coming to an end, thus marking the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, the first Soviet republics were beginning to assert their independence from Moscow more openly, thus setting up further confrontations with an embattled Gorbachev.

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"Lithuanian Communist Party Declares Independence," Tass report, December 21, 1989. Trans. Foreign Broadcast Info Service (FBIS).

Primary Source—Excerpt

The 20th Congress of the Lithuanian Communist Party declared it [sic] today an independent political organization with a programme and rules of its own. After a fiery debate that revealed the irreconcilability of views on the further development of the Lithuanian Communist Party thus delegates decided by a roll-call vote to change the party's status. The decision was carried by a majority of 855 out of the total 1,033 delegates...The Communist Party of Lithuania, the resolution states, is a component of the political system of Lithuania uniting on a voluntary basis citizens of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic who support the aims of the Communist Party of Lithuania... An independent democratic Lithuanian state should be viewed as the principal objective of the Communist Party of Lithuania.

How to Cite this Source

Tass Report, "Lithuanian Communist Party Declares Independence," Making the History of 1989, Item #392, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:24 pm).

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