The Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of northern-eastern Europe. Since its independence, Lithuania has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people, spanning 25,200 square miles and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.
In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by the King of Lithuania and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania after 50 years of Soviet occupation.
The Order of Vytautas the Great is the Lithuanian Presidential Award. The Order was instituted in 1930 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. It may be conferred on the heads of Lithuania and foreign states, as well as their citizens, for distinguished services to the State of Lithuania.
Astikas, Algimantas. Lietuvos ordinai, medaliai ir ženkleliai 1918-1940. Vilnius: Mintis, 1993.
Kavaliauskas, Vilius. Orders and Decorations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Brno: Moravské Zemské Muzeum, 1998.
“Apdovanojimai.” Lietuvos Šaulių Šąjunga. Modified in 2017. http://www.sauliusajunga.lt/index.php/apdovanojimai.
“Decorations.” Lithuanian Armed Forces. Modified on February 5, 2016. http://kariuomene.kam.lt/en/military_insignia/decorations.html.
“Награды общественных организаций Литвы 1919-1940 гг.” Mиp Haгpaд. http://mirnagrad.ru/cgi-bin/index.cgi.
Law on State Awards, No. IX-957. http://policy.mofcom.gov.cn/GlobalLaw/english/flaw!fetch.action?id=E15BCBB6-C163-41F2-B7AF-834BCBDAE897&pager.pageNo=1#c2i.
“Orders, Medals and Other Awards.” President of the Republic of Lithuania. http://adamkus.president.lt/ordinai/index_e.phtml.
“Honorary Distinctions of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” Le Gouverment de Grand-Duche of Luxembourg https://sip.gouvernement.lu/dam-assets/publications/brochure-livre/minist-etat/sip/brochure/Distinctions_honorifique/Distinctions_honorifiques-EN.pdf