On March 11, 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to proclaim independence from the collapsing Soviet Union. For this reason, March 11 is celebrated in the country as the Day of Restoration of Independence.
At that time, the Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution to transform the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic into the Republic of Lithuania and restore its traditional national symbols.
The adoption of the Act of Independence was made possible by parliamentary elections held in February 1990 – the first free and democratic elections in the country since World War II.
33 years ago, we re-established independence 🇱🇹.
We were the first to break out of the Soviet prison, the first to liberate our home.
Lithuania knows the price of freedom and the pain of loosing it. We will stand with Ukraine until victory. pic.twitter.com/JhGYZ5Dzj9
— Gitanas Nausėda (@GitanasNauseda) March 11, 2023
They resulted in the formation of the first post-war non-communist government. At its first assembly on March 11, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR elected Vytautas Landsbergis as its president, renamed itself the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, and then declared the rebirth of the Lithuanian state.
Happy Independence Day to all Lithuanians!
On #March11, 1990, Lithuania dared to break away from the USSR, and #freedom advanced across Europe.
Today Europe faces another defining moment for its freedom – helping Ukraine to win & building security w/o Russia.
Dare to be free! pic.twitter.com/OVLVyrlok9
— Ingrida Šimonytė (@IngridaSimonyte) March 11, 2023
The political transformation in Lithuania, as well as Latvia and Estonia, was made possible, among other things, by the spontaneous rise of anti-Soviet sentiment in the USSR in the second half of the 1980s and the resurgence of independence tendencies.
Congratulations to proud #Lithuania 🇱🇹 on the 33rd anniversary of the Restoration of Independence. As we celebrate your freedom today, we are thankful for your support & solidarity on our own road to freedom & democracy for the people of Belarus. Ačiū, Lietuva! pic.twitter.com/J0IqdGj5wH
— Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (@Tsihanouskaya) March 11, 2023
Destined to live independently
“33 years ago, we proclaimed loud and clear that our destiny was to live independently. Determined to create our own prosperity, we were the first to break out of the prison of nations – and we defended that right when it was attacked,” Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda wrote in his wishes on the occasion.
“Until now, we have been walking firmly on the path of freedom, together creating the Lithuania of our dreams. With every step, we spread more and more light and truth. By rushing to the aid of others, we expand our possibilities,” he added.
“And today, as I drive through Lithuania, I see in every corner of it people who are working hard to make our country even brighter, more beautiful and stronger,” Nausėda emphasized.
📸33rd anniversary of the re-establishment of the State of Lithuania was celebrated with flag hoisting in the Independence Square, Vilnius. Polish #Sejm Speaker @elzbietawitek attended the event. 🇵🇱🇱🇹 pic.twitter.com/fbysiuquIX
— PLParliament (@PLParliament) March 11, 2023
The Independence Restoration Day (11.03) is commonly confused with the Restoration of the State Day (16.02). Both of them are public holidays in Lithuania and are regarded as independence days. However, the former celebrates the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union while the latter signifies the restoration of the lost glory of the state from the Germans.