Troops regain control of Vilnius in historic re-enactment

  • 2014-04-23
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

On April 23 residents and visitors to Vilnius will be able to observe a short enactment of the liberation of Vilnius by Lithuanian troops in historical 14th - 18th century service dress, while Lithuania's historical flag will be hoisted over the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania with rounds fired from historic cannons, reports ELTA.

The event will be held in commemoration of the 220th anniversary of the retrieval of Vilnius from the Russian Federation.

On April 23, 1794, just over 1,000 Lithuanian soldiers and armed residents of Vilnius reasserted control over their city from a garrison of the Russian Empire numbering 2,800.

In late 18th century the weakened Polish-Lithuanian state fell under the influence of its stronger neighbors. Russia, Prussia and Austria succeeded to divide the Polish-Lithuanian state. That led to an uprising headed by Tadeusz Kosciuszko in the territory of Poland in spring 1794. A climate for uprising with sympathies from all social layers gathered in Lithuania, too. There was just one option - to fight for the freedom of their land, so rebels under the lead of Colonel Jokubas Jasinskis, commandant of the Combat Engineer School of Vilnius, began the operation of liberating Vilnius from the garrison of the Russian Empire.

The enactment will be presented by troops of the Honor Guard Company and the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion, and members of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Band.