Tiesa (English: truth) was the official daily newspaper in the Lithuanian SSR. Established in 1917, the newspaper soon became the official voice of the Communist Party of Lithuania. After the Lithuanian victory in the Lithuanian–Soviet War, the party and the newspaper were outlawed in Lithuania. Therefore, it was first printed in exile and later illegally in Kaunas. Tiesa survived irregular publishing schedules, frequent relocations, staff changes, and other difficulties and, after the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in June 1940, became the official daily of the new communist regime. At its peak, its circulation exceeded 300,000 copies. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tiesa lost its official status and its circulation shrunk. The publication was discontinued in 1994.
The first issue of Tiesa was published by the Lithuanian section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks) in Petrograd on April 12, 1917. In October 1917, Tiesa became the official newspaper of the Lithuanian section. From April to December 1918, it was published in Moscow. By December 12, 1918, 91 issues of Tiesa were published.
In March–April 1919, five issues of the newspaper were published in Vilnius, the proclaimed capital of the short-lived Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. It was the official newspaper of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Lithuania and Belorussia. When Poland captured Vilnius during the Vilna offensive, Tiesa evacuated and was printed with interruptions in Raseiniai, Kaunas, Königsberg, Bellshill, Smolensk as the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Lithuania.In March 1926, it settled more permanently in Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania. The communist party was outlawed in Lithuania, therefore Tiesa had to be printed illegally. There were 157 issues published in Kaunas.
After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in June 1940, Tiesa was legalized and became a daily. It appeared first as Liaudies balsas (June 16–25) but soon recovered its historical name. It continued to be the official outlet of the Communist Party of Lithuania until the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The newspaper was reestablished in Moscow in February 1942. There, 85 issues were published until July 1944.In August 1944, after the Soviet victory in Vilnius Offensive, the newspaper relocated to Vilnius. Once again, it became a daily. From August 1945, in addition to being the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Lithuania, Tiesa was also the official voice of the communist government, specifically the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR and the Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR. It had permanent correspondents in Moscow and New York. In 1967, Tiesa received the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
After the first free parliamentary elections in February 1990, Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union. Lietuvos aidas became the official newspaper of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas. The Communist Party of Lithuania reorganized itself into the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (LDDP). Tiesa followed suit and became the newspaper of the LDDP. However, in 1992, Tiesa became a privately owned publication. On July 1, 1994, it was discontinued and replaced by daily Diena(English: day). The last issue of Diena was published in 1996.
The circulation varied greatly over the years. It was 3,000 copies in 1917, 1,500 in 1927, 40,000 in 1941, 200,000 in 1955, 258,000 in 1970, 276,000 in 1980, 311,000 in 1987,241,000 in 1990, 50,000 in 1994.
Tiesa was dedicated to communist ideology. It advocated socialist revolution and criticized other political parties.It reported on the activities of the Communist Party of Lithuania and its organizations, published their programs and resolutions, statements and manifestos. Tiesa also reported on the biggest world and Lithuanian news, provided their analysis according to the communist point of view. The newspaper also published stories on the life of workers, peasants, soldiers. Occasionally it also published fiction, mostly poems.
The editors-in-chief were:
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, also known as Soviet Lithuania or Lithuania, was one of the constituent republics of the USSR between 1940–1941 and 1944–1990. After 1946, its territory and borders mirrored those of today's Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of minor adjustments of the border with Belarus.
Vincas Mickevičius (Mickiewicz), known under his pen name Kapsukas, was a Lithuanian communist political activist and revolutionary. As an active member of the Lithuanian National Revival, he wrote for and edited many Lithuanian publications and joined the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party. As his views turned from socialism to communism, he became one of the founders and leaders of the Lithuanian Communist Party and headed the short-lived Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic and Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Litbel) in 1918–19. After the failure of these republics, Mickevičius left for Soviet Russia, where he continued to lead Lithuanian communists and worked for the Communist International (Comintern).
Sąjūdis, initially known as the Reform Movement of Lithuania, is the political organisation which led the struggle for Lithuanian independence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was established on 3 June 1988, and was led by Vytautas Landsbergis. Its goal was to seek the return of independent status for Lithuania.
Lietuvos žinios was a daily newspaper in Lithuania. Established in Vilnius in 1909, it was a liberal newspaper representing the Lithuanian Democratic Party. Even though its publication was interrupted by World War I and Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Lietuvos žinios billed itself as the oldest newspaper in Lithuania.
Antanas Sniečkus was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania from 15 August 1940 to 22 January 1974.
Russians in Lithuania numbered 140,000 people, according to the Lithuanian estimates of 2015, or 4.8% of the total population of Lithuania.
The Communist Party of Lithuania was a communist party in Lithuania, established in early October 1918. The party was banned in 1991.
Lietuvos aidas is a daily newspaper in Lithuania. It was established on September 6, 1917 by Antanas Smetona, and became the semi-official voice of the newly formed Lithuanian government. When the government evacuated from Vilnius to the temporary capital, Kaunas, it ceased publication. The newspaper was revived in 1928 as the newspaper of the Lithuanian government and became the most popular newspaper in Lithuania. At its peak, it published three daily editions with combined circulation of 90,000 copies. World War II disrupted its publication. In 1990, after Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union, the newspaper once again became the official newspaper of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. At the end of 1992, its circulation reached 103,000 copies. However, it was soon privatized and faced shrinking readership, financial difficulties, and other controversies. In April 2006, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated by the State Tax Inspectorate when its tax debts reached more than 4 million litas. The company was liquidated in 2015, but the newspaper continues to be published by a non-profit organization.
Petras Griškevičius was a high-level communist party official in the Lithuanian SSR. He was the First Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party from 1974 to his death.
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR) was a short-lived Soviet republic declared on December 16, 1918, by a provisional revolutionary government led by Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas. It ceased to exist on February 27, 1919, when it was merged with the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia to form the Lithuanian–Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Litbel). While efforts were made to represent the LSSR as a product of a socialist revolution supported by local residents, it was largely a Moscow-orchestrated entity created to justify the Lithuanian–Soviet War. As a Soviet historian described it as: "The fact that the Government of Soviet Russia recognized a young Soviet Lithuanian Republic unmasked the lie of the USA and British imperialists that Soviet Russia allegedly sought rapacious aims with regard to the Baltic countries." Lithuanians generally did not support Soviet causes and rallied for their own national state, declared independent on February 16, 1918, by the Council of Lithuania.
Mečislovas Gedvilas was a Lithuanian politician who collaborated with occupying Soviet forces. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Lithuanian SSR from 1940 to 1956. Rivalry between him and Antanas Sniečkus, the first secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party, led to his demotion to Minister of Education (1957–1973).
Motiejus or Matas Šumauskas was a Lithuanian communist activist and Soviet politician. He served as the chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1956 to 1963 and chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR from 1967 to 1975.
Lietuvos ūkininkas was a weekly Lithuanian-language newspaper published between 1905 and 1940. It was published by and reflected the political views of the Lithuanian Democratic Party, Peasant Union, and Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union. Its printing and daily operations were managed by its long-time publisher Felicija Bortkevičienė. It was a liberal publication geared towards the wider audience of less educated farmers and peasants. In 1933, its circulation was 15,000 copies. When Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, the newspaper was nationalized and replaced by Valstiečių laikraštis.
Sovetskaya Litva was a Russian-language daily newspaper published in the Lithuanian SSR. In tandem with the Lithuanian-language Tiesa, it was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Lithuania, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, and the Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR. After the restoration of Lithuania's independence in 1990, the newspaper became an independent daily under the name Echo Litvy. Its circulation was 79,000 copies in 1981, 26,000 copies in 1993, and 12,000 copies in 1997. It discontinued publication in 2001 due to financial difficulties.
Vairas was a Lithuanian-language political and cultural newspaper published by Antanas Smetona and the Lithuanian Nationalist Union, the ruling party in Lithuania in 1926–1940. It was published three separate times. Vairas was first established in January 1914 when Smetona departed Viltis; it was discontinued due to World War I. The newspaper was briefly revived in September 1923 when Smetona and Augustinas Voldemaras harshly criticized their political opponents and the Lithuanian government. Due to anti-government rhetoric, their newspapers were closed by state censors one after another, but they would quickly establish a new newspaper under a new title. Vairas was closed in February 1924. The newspaper was reestablished as a cultural magazine in 1929 with the backing of the authoritarian regime of Smetona. In 1939, it became a weekly political magazine that pushed an agenda of radical nationalism and openly sympathized with National Socialism. The magazine was discontinued after the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in June 1940.
Icikas Meskupas pseudonym Adomas was a leader of the Lithuanian Komsomol and Communist Party in interwar Lithuania. He was elected to the People's Seimas and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He became the second secretary of the party in February 1941. For his communist activities, he was arrested and imprisoned several times by Lithuania and once by Nazi Germany. During World War II, he joined Soviet partisans and was killed in a shootout with Lithuanian police.
Vladas Niunka was a Lithuanian communist. He joined then-illegal Communist Party of Lithuania (CPL) in 1928. For his communist activities, he was arrested seven times by the Lithuanian police and spent about five years in prisons. He edited and published several communist newspapers, including Tiesa, Propagandistas, Komunistas. He was a long-term member of the Central Committee of CPL (1938–1983) as well as deputy (1947–1983) and chairman (1955–1963) of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR. During World War II and in 1948–1961, Niunka was secretary of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of CPL. He dedicated the last two decades of his life to academic work researching anti-communist policies and activities of the Catholic Church. He became a member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and a Candidate of Sciences.
Karolis Požela was one of the early Lithuanian communist leaders. As a medical student at the University of Tartu, he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks) in 1916. In the short-lived Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic he organized communists in Šiauliai. After the collapse of the Soviet regime, Požela joined the underground Communist Party of Lithuania (CPL) becoming a member of its Central Committee in 1921. When party leadership was arrested in Königsberg in 1921, he remained essentially the only party leader in Lithuania. He continued political work and became a member of CPL Orgburo in 1923 and Politburo in 1926. At various times, he edited and published various communist newspapers and publications, including Tiesa (Truth), Kareivių tiesa, and Darbininkų gyvenimas. For his communist activities, he was imprisoned a total of six times. When Lithuanian military organized the coup d'état of 17 December 1926, the official rationale was to protect Lithuania from an imminent Bolshevik revolt. In the aftermath, many communists were arrested. Požela and three others, who became known as the four communards, were executed on 27 December in the Sixth Fort of the Kaunas Fortress.
Julius Janonis was a Lithuanian poet and writer. Born to a family of poor peasants, he began writing and translating poems at the age of 14. Learning from Maironis, he wrote about nature and suffering of the poor. His first poems were published in 1912. While still a student, he began contributing articles to Lithuanian press and joined activities of leftist aušrininkai. He was a social-democrat but leaned more and more towards communism and his poetry became more and more political agitation. His views become even more radical when during World War I he evacuated to Voronezh and later Petrograd. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks) and was imprisoned twice for revolutionary activities. He contracted tuberculosis and, unwilling to become a burden, committed suicide at age 21. In the Lithuanian SSR, Janonis was hailed as the "first poet of the proletariat".
Valstiečių laikraštis is a Lithuanian-language newspaper targeting farmers. It mainly publishes articles related to agricultural policies, best farming practices and methods, and other issues of Lithuanian farmers. Established in 1940, it was an official publication of the Communist Party of Lithuania. In 1951–1989, it was published three times a week. Prior to 1951 and after 1989, it is published twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays.