Gorbachev's Failure in Lithuania
From January 11 to 14, 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev went to Lithuania to persuade the leaders of that rebel Soviet republic to remain within the traditional Soviet system. From January 11 to 13, 1991, Soviet troops killed unarmed civilians in Vilnius in an effort to persuade the people of Lithuania to overthrow their leaders. Finally, in September, 1991, Gorbachev, presiding over the collapse of the Soviet Union, recognized Lithuanian independence. It was Lithuania, above all, that demonstrated to the world the bankruptcy of the Soviet empire. This book takes the reader into the maelstrom of politics in three different capitals during the period 1988 to 1991. In Vilnius, Lithuanians surged forward in what they called their "national rebirth"; in Moscow, Gorbachev struggled to maintain his position in a crumbling empire; and in Washington, the administration doggedly supported Gorbachev as the foundation of its East European policy. In the end, the Lithuanians, in a remarkable display of peaceful, non-violent resistance, were the only ones to achieve their ambitions through the creation of an independent state.
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