Vilnius Region (Lithuanian: Vilniaus kraštas, Polish: Wileńszczyzna) generally refers to the territory in the present day Lithuania and Belarus that was assigned to Lithuania by the Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920, but was under Polish control from 1920 to 1939. Lithuanian ( lietuvių kalba) is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognised as one of the official languages of the European Union. Polish ( język polski, polszczyzna) is the Official language of Poland. Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Belarus ( Belarusian Беларусь / Biełaruś is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty, also known as the Moscow Peace Treaty, was signed between Lithuania and Soviet Russia on July 12 The territory included Vilnius (Polish: Wilno), historical capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Polish ( język polski, polszczyzna) is the Official language of Poland. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė old literary Lithuanian Didi Kunigiste Letuvos, Ruthenian: Wialikaje Kniastwa Litowskaje Lithuania, after announcing independence from the Russian Empire, claimed Vilnius Region based on historical legacy. The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16 1918 proclaiming The Russian Empire ( Pre-reform Russian: Pоссійская Имперія Modern Russian: Российская Империя translit: Rossiyskaya Poland claimed the region as it had a sizeable Polish population and argued for its right of self-determination. Self-determination is defined as free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion and especially as the freedom of the people of a given Territory to determine their Intense conflict ensured. Direct military conflicts (Polish-Lithuanian War and Żeligowski's Mutiny) were followed up by fruitless negotiations in the League of Nations and complete lack of any diplomatic relations between Poland and Lithuania until the Poland's ultimatum of March 17, 1938. Żeligowski's Mutiny (Bunt Żeligowskiego also żeligiada, Želigovskio maištas was a staged Mutiny led by Polish General Lucjan Żeligowski The League of Nations was an International organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920 The 1938 Polish ultimatum to Lithuania was an Ultimatum delivered to Lithuania by Poland on March 17 1938 Events 45 BC - In his last victory Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger Year 1938 ( MCMXXXVIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Poland demanded unconditional establishment of diplomatic relations. After the Soviet invasion of Poland the entire region came under Soviet control. The 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland was a military operation that started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939 during the early stages of World War II, sixteen About one fifth of the region, including Vilnius, was given to Lithuania by the Soviet Union on October 10, 1939 in exchange for soviet military bases within the territory of Lithuania. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Events 680 - Battle of Karbala: Shia Imam Husayn bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, is decapitated Year 1939 ( MCMXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The conflict over Vilnius Region was settled after World War II when both Poland and Lithuania came under the Soviet domination. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including During the Cold War, the term Communist Bloc (or Soviet Bloc) was used to refer to the Soviet Union and countries it either controlled or that were
Initially Vilnius Region had no determined territory, but referred to Vilnius and surrounding territory, disputed between Lithuania and Poland from 1918. Later, the western limit of the region was defined as de facto administration line between Poland and Lithuania set up in late 1920. Lithuania refused to recognize this line. The eastern limit was defined by the Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920. The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty, also known as the Moscow Peace Treaty, was signed between Lithuania and Soviet Russia on July 12 The eastern line was never turned into an actual border between states and remained only a political vision. The total territory covered about 32,250 km².
Today the eastern limit of the region is the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. This modern border divides the Vilnius Region into two parts: western and eastern. Western Vilnius Region, including Vilnius, is now part of Lithuania. It constitutes about one third of the total Vilnius Region. Lithuania gained about 6,880 km² on October 10, 1939 from the Soviet Union and 2,650 km² (including Druskininkai and Švenčionys) on August 3, 1940 from the Byelorussian SSR. Events 680 - Battle of Karbala: Shia Imam Husayn bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, is decapitated Year 1939 ( MCMXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Druskininkai ( Друскенікі Druskieniki; Druskieniki is a Spa town on the Neman River in southern Lithuania, close to the borders Švenčionys (Święciany Свянцяны is a city 84 km north of Vilnius in Lithuania with a population of 5658 (as of 2005 Events 8 - Roman Empire General Tiberius defeats Dalmatians on the river Bathinus. Year 1940 ( MCMXL) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (abbreviated as Byelorussian SSR or BSSR) (Беларуская Савецкая Сацыялістычная Рэспубліка Eastern Vilnius Region is now part of Belarus. No parts of the region are in modern Poland. None of the countries have any further territorial claims.
The term Central Lithuania (Polish: Litwa Środkowa) refers to the short-lived puppet state Republic of Central Lithuania, proclaimed by Lucjan Żeligowski after his staged mutiny in the annexed areas. "Central Lithuania" redirects here This is an article about a former state Lucjan Żeligowski (1865-1947 was a Polish General, and veteran of World War I, the Polish-Soviet War and World War II. Żeligowski's Mutiny (Bunt Żeligowskiego also żeligiada, Želigovskio maištas was a staged Mutiny led by Polish General Lucjan Żeligowski After eighteen months of existence, it was incorporated into Poland on March 24, 1922 thus finalizing Poland's claims over the territory. Events 1401 - Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus. 1603 - James VI of Scotland Year 1922 ( MCMXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.
In the Middle Ages, Vilnius and its environs had become a nucleus of the early ethnic Lithuanian state, the Duchy of Lithuania, also referred to in Lithuanian historiography as a part of the Lithuania Propria. Duchy of Lithuania (Ducatus Lithuaniae Lietuvos kunigaikštystė was a state-territorial formation of ethnic Lithuanians, that existed from the 12th century until 1413 Lithuania proper (Lithuania propria Lietuva siaurąją prasme tikroji Lietuva, literally "Lithuania in a narrow sense" "Genuine Lithuania "  After the Partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in late 18th century it was annexed by Imperial Russia. The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the The Russian Empire ( Pre-reform Russian: Pоссійская Имперія Modern Russian: Российская Империя translit: Rossiyskaya In the effect of World War I it was seized by Germany and given to the civilian administration of the Ober-Ost. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Ober Ost is short for Oberbefehlshaber der gesamten Deutschen Streitkräfte im Osten, which is a German term meaning "Supreme Command of All German Forces in the East" With the German defeat in the World War I and the outbreak of hostilities between various factions of the Russian Civil War, the area, while controlled by Poles became disputed by Lithuania and the short-lived Belarusian People's Republic. The Russian Civil War (1917–1923 was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed The Belarusian People's Republic (Белару́ская Наро́дная Рэспу́бліка bʲeɫa'ruskaja na'rodnaja rɛs'publʲika translit
After the outbreak of the Polish-Bolshevik War, during the summer offensive of the Red Army, the region got under Soviet control as the part of planned Lithuanian-Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Red Army ( Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия R aboche- K rest'yanskaya K rasnaya A rmiya In exchange for military cooperation after Lithuania-Soviet Russia war (1918-1920), the Bolshevist authorities signed a peace treaty with Lithuania on July 12, 1920. The Lithuanian Wars of Independence, also known as the Freedom Struggles (Laisvės kovos refer to three wars Lithuania fought defending its independence at the end Bolshevist Russia or Bolshevik Russia is a common term for the Bolshevik side in the Russian Civil War, or more specifically the Russian Events 1191 - Saladin 's garrison surrenders ending the two-year Siege of Acre. Year 1920 ( MCMXX) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920 of the Gregorian calendar According to the Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920, all area disputed between Poland and Lithuania, at the time controlled by the Bolsheviks, was to be transferred to Lithuania. The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty, also known as the Moscow Peace Treaty, was signed between Lithuania and Soviet Russia on July 12 However, the actual control over the area remained in Bolsheviks hands. After the Battle of Warsaw of 1920 it became clear that the advancing Polish Army would soon recapture the area. The Battle of Warsaw (Russian Варшáвское сражéние Polish: Bitwa Warszawska sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Polish Land Forces (Wojska Lądowe RP is a branch of Poland 's Armed Forces. Seeing that they could not secure it, the Bolshevik authorities started to transfer the area to Lithuanian sovereignty. The advancing Polish Army managed to retake much of the disputed area before the Lithuanians arrived, while the most important part of it with the city of Vilnius was secured by Lithuania.
Since the two states were not at war, diplomatic negotiations started. As Lithuanians made a small minority in the disputed area and Poles constituted approximately 58% of its inhabitants (the rest being mostly Jews and Belarusians, see Ethnic history of the region of Vilnius), the Polish authorities demanded region to be transferred to Poland. Lithuanians are the Baltic Ethnic group native to Lithuania, where they number a little over 3 million The Polish people, or Poles, (Polacy) are a Western Slavic Ethnic group of Central Europe, living predominantly in Poland. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Belarusians or Belorussians (Беларусы Biełarusy previously also spelled Belarussians, Byelorussians and Belorusians, also Following is a list of Censuses that have been taken in the city of Vilnius/Vilna/Wilno/Wilna and its region since 1897 Lithuanian government argued that the majority of those who declared Polish nationality were in fact Polonized Lithuanians, that the area historically belonged to Lithuania Propria part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and believed that their historical claim to the city of Vilnius (former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which at that point was divided near evenly between Poles and Jews, with Lithuanian speaking as constituting a mere fraction - about 2-3% - of the total population ) had precedence over self-determination rights of the mostly Polish speaking population of the region. Polonization (polonizacja is the acquisition or imposition Lithuania proper (Lithuania propria Lietuva siaurąją prasme tikroji Lietuva, literally "Lithuania in a narrow sense" "Genuine Lithuania " The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, officially the Commonwealth of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania also known as the Most Serene Republic The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė old literary Lithuanian Didi Kunigiste Letuvos, Ruthenian: Wialikaje Kniastwa Litowskaje The negotiations and international mediation led to nowhere and until 1920 the disputed territory remained divided onto Lithuanian and Polish part.
Finally, in 1920, after a staged coup in October 9, Polish general Lucjan Żeligowski seized the Lithuanian part of the disputed territory and created there a semi-independent state of Central Lithuania. Lucjan Żeligowski (1865-1947 was a Polish General, and veteran of World War I, the Polish-Soviet War and World War II. Although the following year it voted to join Poland and the choice was later accepted by the League of Nations, the area granted to Lithuania by the Bolsheviks in 1920 continued to be claimed by Lithuania, with the city of Vilnius being treated as that state's official capital and the temporary capital in Kaunas, and the states officially remained at war. The League of Nations was an International organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920 A temporary capital or a provisional capital is a country or a town chosen by a Government as an interim base of operations due to some difficulty in establishing Kaunas ( ˈkoʊnəs is the second largest City in Lithuania and a former temporary capital. It was not until the Polish ultimatum of 1938, that the two states resolved diplomatic relations.
The Polish government never acknowledged the Russo-Lithuanian convention of July 12, 1920, that granted the latter state territory seized from Poland by the Red Army during the Polish-Bolshevik War, then promised to Lithuania as the Soviet forces were retreating under the Polish advance; particularly as the Soviets had previously renounced claims to that region in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Events 1191 - Saladin 's garrison surrenders ending the two-year Siege of Acre. Year 1920 ( MCMXX) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920 of the Gregorian calendar Not to be confused with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 9 1918, a similar treaty involving Ukraine and the Central Powers. In turn, the Lithuanian authorities did not acknowledge the Polish-Lithuanian border of 1918-1920 as permanent nor did they ever acknowledged the sovereignty of puppet Republic of Central Lithuania that was soon incorporated into Poland.
The loss of Vilnius might have nonetheless safeguarded the very existence of the Lithuanian state in the interwar period. Despite an alliance with Soviets (Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920) and the war with Poland, Lithuania was very close to being invaded by the Soviets in summer 1920 and having been forcibly converted into a socialist republic. The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty, also known as the Moscow Peace Treaty, was signed between Lithuania and Soviet Russia on July 12 It was only the Polish victory against the Soviets in the Polish-Soviet War (and the fact that the Poles did not object to some form of Lithuanian independence) that derailed the Soviet plans and gave Lithuania an experience of interwar independence. 
In 1939 Soviets gave proposal to Lithuania to give 1/5th of Vilnius region, including city of Vilnius itself, to Lithuania in exchange for stationing Red Army troops in Lithuania. The Red Army ( Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия R aboche- K rest'yanskaya K rasnaya A rmiya Lithuanians at first didn't want to accept this, but later Russians said that troops would enter Lithuania, anyway, so Lithuania accepted the deal. 1/5th of Vilnius region was ceded, despite of the fact that Soviet Union always recognised whole Vilnius region as part of Lithuania previously.
According to the 1916 census organised there by the German authorities Lithuanians constituted 18. Following is a list of Censuses that have been taken in the city of Vilnius/Vilna/Wilno/Wilna and its region since 1897 Following is a list of Censuses that have been taken in the city of Vilnius/Vilna/Wilno/Wilna and its region since 1897 5% of the population. The post-war Polish censae of 1921 and 1931, found 5% of Lithuanians living in the area, with several almost purely-Lithuanian enclaves located to the south-west of Vilnius (Polish: Wilno) and to the north of Švenčionys (Polish: Święciany). Polish ( język polski, polszczyzna) is the Official language of Poland. Švenčionys (Święciany Свянцяны is a city 84 km north of Vilnius in Lithuania with a population of 5658 (as of 2005 Polish ( język polski, polszczyzna) is the Official language of Poland. The majority of the population was composed of Poles (roughly 60%) according the latter three censae. The results of Polish censae were questioned by some Lithuanian historians and the Lithuanian government claimed that the majority of local Poles were in fact Polonised Lithuanians. Polonization (polonizacja is the acquisition or imposition In the 1920s, League of Nations twice attempted to organise plebiscite, although both sides were not eager to participate. The League of Nations was an International organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920 After staged mutinity by Lucjan Żeligowski Poles took control over the area, and organised elections, which was boycotted by most Lithuanians, but also many Jews and Belarusians  because of strong Polish military control. Lucjan Żeligowski (1865-1947 was a Polish General, and veteran of World War I, the Polish-Soviet War and World War II. Today, the Po prostu (badly learned Polish) dialect is the native language for Poles in Šalčininkai district and in some territories of Vilnius district, its speakers consider themselves to be Poles and believe po prostu language to be purely Polish . Šalčininkai district municipality (Šalčininkų rajonas is one of 60 municipalities in Lithuania. Vilnius district municipality is one of 60 municipalities in Lithuania. The population, including those of "the locals" (Tutejshy) who live in the other part of Vilnius region that was occupied by Soviet Union and passed on to Belarus, has extremely strong Polish identity and sometimes is angered when Lithuanians suggest that they are descendants of mostly ethnic Lithuanians who did not learn Polish well enough. However, some of the locals admit their Lithuanian background.