The Republic of Central Lithuania was created in 1920 following the staged rebellion of soldiers of a Lithuanian–Belarusian Infantry Division of the Polish Army, supported by the Polish air force, cavalry and artillery. Centered on the historical capital Vilna for eighteen months it served as a buffer state between Poland, upon which it depended, and Lithuania, which claimed the area. After a variety of delays, a disputed election took place on January 8, 1922, and the territory was annexed to Poland.
The Polish-Lithuanian borders in the interwar period, while recognized by the League of Nations, were not recognized by the Republic of Lithuania. In 1931 an international court in The Hague issued the statement that the Polish seizure of the city had been a violation of international law. After the Polish Defensive War of 1939,Vilnius was returned to Lithuania. A part of the region was given to the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic. Vilnius very quickly became the capital of Lithuania again. But in 1940, Lithuania was swallowed up by the Soviet Union, forced to become the Lithuanian SSR. Since the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1991, the city's status as Lithuania's capital has been internationally recognized.
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