At the time of Tatar-Mongol domination of Russia, Lithuania annexed Russian lands until by the middle of the 15th century Belorussia, along with those parts of Russia and Ukraine as far as the Black Sea, were under its rule. Lithuania united with Poland dynastically in 1385 and politically in 1569. During the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Russia, Prussia and Austria in the 18th century, Lithuania yielded its Russian territories and was absorbed into the Russian empire in 1795. Following the German occupation during the First World War and the Russian revolution on 16 Feb. 1918, heavy fighting occurred between the Soviet, German, Polish and Lithuanian forces. In April 1919 the Soviets withdrew and the re-formed Lithuanian government established a democratic republic. Lithuanian independence was recognized by the Treaty of Versailles, hi Dec. 1926 the democratic regime was overthrown by a coup. The secret protocol of the Soviet-German frontier treaty of 23 Sept. 1939 assigned the greater part of Lithuania to the Soviet sphere of influence. Lithuania became a Soviet Socialist Republic of the USSR on 3 Aug. 1940.
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