The Battle Against Moonshine!
Brewing moonshine uses about 200,000,000 tons of grain a year and costs 140,000,000 rubles.
Soviet propaganda dating from ca. 1919-1921.
Part of the Russian Empire since 1795, Lithuanians had long desired independence. Following the Russian Revolution, the possibility of breaking free began to look increasingly realistic. When Germany occupied Lithuania during World War I, they allowed a series of councils of independence-minded Lithuanians to take place, in hopes that a new state would maintain a close relationship with them.
On February 16, 1918, the Council of Lithuania declared
the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital, and declares the termination of all state ties which formerly bound this State to other nations.
Lithuania’s independence, of course, was not to last - in 1944 it was swallowed up by the Soviet Union and would not regain its independence until 1990. But because Lithuania considers the modern state to be a continuation of the original state that declared independence in 1918, the document never lost its legal standing.
Happy Independence Day, Lithuania!
The historic document that heralded the collapse of the Soviet Union has gone missing from an archive in Belarus, according to one of its signatories.
“It’s hard to believe the disappearance of a document at such a level, but this is a fact,” Stanislav Shushkevich, the former Belarusian leader, told the Associated Press. He said that he discovered the loss when doing research on his memoirs, and suspects it could have been stolen and sold by a Belarusian official.
The document, signed in December 1991, brought an end to the Soviet Union, which was the largest country on the planet, stretching from the Baltic to the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Pamirs. Mr Shushkevich was the first leader of independent Belarus but was defeated by current leader Alexander Lukashenko in 1994 elections.
The document was signed at a secret meeting hosted by Mr Shushkevich in the Belovezha Forest in Belarus. He was joined by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian Leonid Kravchuk, and the document declared “the USSR has ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality”.
This thwarted the plans of Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who wanted to hold the Soviet Union together, and he resigned later in the month. There was confirmation from Belarus that it now possesses only copies of the document.
Illustrations by Jaan Tammsaar for Kits Sarapikus, a Belarusian tale (Estonia, 1984)
(I really recommend looking at the source because there’s so many more beautiful illustrations!)
Lithuanians carry Lithuanian flags in the center of Vilnius on January 10, 1990, during demonstration asking for the country’s independence.
I see some Latvian flags in there as well.