Vytautas Landsbergis was actually the first leader of the free Lithuania. He was the person who declared independence of Lithuania on March 11 1990. Listening to him in this interview is like hearing history happens. Landsbergis is among people who founded Sajūdis, the movement won the 1990 election in Lithuania, and forced the Soviets to accept their independence.
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It wasn’t an easy process. The Soviet Union, led by Michail Gorbačëv, didn’t have any intention to grant the freedom. There were many difficulties and long periods of high tension, especially at the end of 1990 when the Soviet Union decided to repress the Lithuanians’ hope very harshly with a military action. In the capital Vilnius, they sent elite troops and many tanks to protect the sovereignty of Soviet Union. The troops surrounded the Soviet Supreme, now the Parliament, while peaceful people decided to go down in the streets to protest against that latest proof of strenght by the Soviets. People built many barricades all round the Parliament. There were some deaths. Finally, the Soviets had to surrender.
Landsbergis tell us how his country lived those days, about his meetings with the Soviet authority and his face-to-face encounter with Michail Gorbačëv.
(translation by Inglese Americano )