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Lithuania
Lithuania was the first of the Soviet Socialist Republics to recover its independence in 1991 thanks to the action of the Sayudis Movement led Vytautas Landsbergis. It is also the most populous of the three Baltic republics. In the 14th century it held territories covering Belarus and present day Ukraine and formed a “two nation republic” with Poland, which Austria, Prussia and Russia divided between themselves in the 18th century. Independent between the two wars Lithuania was annexed by Russia in 1945 after having lost around 20% of its population during the Second World War, which affected it severely. Once it had won back its autonomy it joined the European Union in 2004.
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