After Lithuania declared its independence in 1990, the USSR feared the breakaway of further Baltic states. In 1991, the Kremlin sent troops into Lithuania to restore Soviet control, culminating in a clash with protesters at the Vilnius TV Tower. This clip shows the desire and sacrifices made by Lithuanians in their struggle for independence.
Students could consider why Moscow reacted more strongly in Lithuania in 1991 than they did in East Germany in 1989. Does Lithuania show that Gorbachev's plan to reform was doomed to fail? To wrap up study of the fall of the Soviet Union, students could study individual states, looking at what the immediate impact of the fall of communism meant to ordinary people and what life in those countries is now. Encourage the class to think about indicators such as health, life expectancy, income and employment figures to assess how people’s lives have changed.