The Republic of Central Lithuania or Middle Lithuania (Polish: Republika Litwy Środkowej, Lithuanian: Vidurio Lietuvos Respublika, Belarusian: Рэспубліка Сярэдняе Літвы / Respublika Siaredniaje Litvy), or simply Central Lithuania (Polish: Litwa Środkowa, Lithuanian: Vidurio Lietuva or Vidurinė Lietuva, Belarusian: Сярэдняя Літва / Siaredniaja Litva), was a short-lived political entity, which did not gain international recognition. The republic was created in 1920 following the staged rebellion of soldiers of the 1st Lithuanian–Belarusian Infantry Division of the Polish Army under Lucjan Żeligowski, supported by the Polish air force, cavalry and artillery. Centered around the historical capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilna (Lithuanian: Vilnius, Polish: Wilno), for eighteen months the entity 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 republic was regarded by some as a Poland-dependent puppet state. Initially the Polish government denied that it was responsible for the false flag action that created the entity, but Polish leader, Józef Piłsudski, subsequently acknowledged that he personally ordered Żeligowski to pretend that he was acting as a mutinous Polish officer.
The Polish-Lithuanian borders in the interwar period, while recognized by the Conference of Ambassadors of the Entente and 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.
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