The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic known as Soviet Lithuania or Lithuania, was one of the constituent republics of the USSR between 1940–1941 and 1944–1990, formed on the basis of the Soviet occupation rule. After 1946, its territory and borders mirrored those of today's Republic of Lithuania. During World War II, it was established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state in the territory of the independent Republic of Lithuania, it had been occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940, in conformity with the terms of the 23 August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Between 1941 and 1944, the German invasion of the Soviet Union caused its de facto dissolution. However, with the retreat of the Germans in 1944–1945, Soviet hegemony was re-established and continued for fifty years; as a result, many western countries continued to recognize Lithuania as an independent, sovereign de jure state subject to international law, represented by the legations appointed by the pre-1940 Baltic states, which functioned in various places through the Lithuanian Diplomatic Service.
On 18 May 1989, the Lithuanian SSR declared itself to be a sovereign state, though still part of the USSR. On 11 March 1990, the Republic of Lithuania was re-established as an independent state. Considered illegal by the Soviet authorities, the country was recognized by Western powers prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union; the Soviet Union itself recognized Lithuanian independence on 6 September 1991. On 23 August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which contained agreements on dividing Europe into spheres of influence. After falling into Germany's sphere of influence, when on 28 September 1939 the USSR and Germany signed the Frontier Treaty and its secret protocol, Lithuania was put into the USSR's sphere of influence in exchange for Poland, occupied; the next day, the USSR offered Lithuania an agreement on the deployment of military bases in its territory. During the negotiations, the Lithuanian delegation was frankly told about the division of the spheres of influence.
The Soviets threatened that if Lithuania refused to host the bases, Vilnius could be annexed to Belarus. It was on these conditions that a Lithuania–USSR agreement on mutual assistance was signed in Moscow on 10 October 1939, opening a door for Soviet regiments to Lithuania. A total of 18,786 Red Army troops were deployed at strategically important locations within the country: Alytus, Gaižiūnai, Naujoji Vilnia; this move ended Lithuanian neutrality and brought it directly under Soviet influence. When Germany launched its military campaign in Western Europe in May 1940, the USSR invaded the Baltic states. On 14 June 1940, an ultimatum was served to Lithuania on the alleged grounds of abduction of Red Army troops; the ultimatum said Lithuania should remove officials that the USSR found unsuitable, replace the government, allow an unlimited number of Red Army troops to enter the country. The acceptance of the ultimatum would have meant the loss of the statehood, but Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov declared to diplomat Juozas Urbšys that, whatever the reply may be, "the troops will enter Lithuania tomorrow nonetheless".
The ultimatum was a violation of every prior agreement between Lithuania and the USSR and of the international law governing the relations of sovereign states. The last session of the government of the Republic of Lithuania was called to discuss the ultimatum, with most of the members in favour of accepting it. On 15 June, President Smetona left Lithuania for the West, having expected to return when the geopolitical situation changed, leaving Prime Minister Antanas Merkys in his stead. Meanwhile, the 8th and 11th armies of the USSR crossed the borders of the Republic of Lithuania. Flying squads took over the airports of Kaunas, Radviliškis, Šiauliai. Regiments of the Red Army put a stop to possible resistance, disarmed the Lithuanian military, took over its assets, supported local communists. Under pressure from Moscow, on 17 June 1940, Merkys appointed Justas Paleckis Prime Minister and resigned soon after. Paleckis assumed presidential duties, Vincas Krėvė was appointed Prime Minister; the Communist Party was legalized again and began publication of its papers and staging meetings to support the new government.
At the same time, the opposition, its newspapers, organizations were outlawed, ties abroad cut. On July 14–15, elections to the People's Parliament took place; the only contender was the Union of Working People of Lithuania, founded by far-left radicals and their supporters. Citizens were mandated to attend the elections, the results of the elections were falsified. At its first meeting on 21 July, the new Parliament declared that Lithuania had expressed its will to become part of the USSR. Resolutions to effectuate the country's sovietisation were made the same day. On 3 August, a Lithuanian delegation of prominent public figures was dispatched to Moscow to sign the document of Lithuania's accession to the USSR. After the signing, Lithuania was annexed to the USSR. On 25 August 1940, an extraordinary session of the People's Parliament ratified the Constitution of the LSSR. Upon recapturing Lithuania's territory from the retreating Germans in 1944, the Red Army began committing war crimes
Basketball at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament
The men's tournament of basketball at the 2000 Olympics at Sydney, Australia began on September 17 and ended on October 1, when the United States defeated France 85–75 for the gold medal. Preliminary round games were held at elimination games at the Sydney SuperDome. Twelve teams are split into 2 preliminary round groups of 6 teams each; the top 4 teams from each group qualify for the knockout stage. Fifth and sixth-placed teams from each group are ranked 9th–12th in two additional matches. In the quarterfinals, the matchups are as follows: A1 vs. B4, A2 vs. B3, A3 vs. B2 and A4 vs. B1; the eliminated teams at the quarterfinals are ranked 5th–8th in two additional matches. The winning teams from the quarterfinals meet in the semifinals as follows: A3/B2 vs. A1/B4 and A2/B3 vs. A4/B1; the winning teams from the semifinals dispute the gold medal. The losing teams dispute the bronze. Ties are broken via the following the criteria, with the first option used first, all the way down to the last option: Head to head results Goal average between the tied teams Goal average of the tied teams for all teams in its group All times are local
BC Sakalai was a professional basketball club based in Vilnius, playing in the Lithuanian Basketball League and the Baltic Basketball League. They played their home games at the 1,000-seat Ekinstos laisvalaikio centras. Sakalai means falcons in Lithuanian language. BC Sakalai began playing in 1991 at the Lithuanian Basketball A League. In 1994, Sakalai managed to win the LKAL Championship and in June 1994, the Lithuanian Basketball League Committee accepted them into the LKL. In their debut season, Sakalai finished in 8th place, their first win was against NECA Kaunas, 100–88. In the playoffs, Sakalai lost the series 0–2 in the first round to BC Žalgiris. In the 1995–96 LKL season, Sakalai finished in 5th place and competed in the Korać Cup. In the Korać Cup, Sakalai moved up to the Round of 16; the team became a strong playoff team finishing in 3rd place in the 1997-98 regular season, though losing both the semifinals and bronze medal series, finishing 4th. Luck changed the next season, as Sakalai won 3rd place in the 1998–99 LKL season and were invited to the Saporta Cup, where they reached the Round of 16 before losing to Panionios Athens.
Since 1999, Sakalai have become the second-best team in Vilnius after Lietuvos rytas. In the 1999 -- 2000 LKL season, Sakalai won 4th place. In the 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03 LKL seasons, Sakalai finished in 6th, 6th, 5th places respectively, they played in the Saporta Cup in the 2000–01 season. In 2003–04 and 2004–05 LKL seasons, Sakalai were one away from 3rd place, but lost to Šiauliai both times. In 2005, Sakalai competed in the first Baltic Basketball League season, finishing in 6th place; the next three seasons, Sakalai won 5th, 7th, 7th places respectively. In 2008, Sakalai continued playing in the Baltic Basketball League Challenge Cup. On April 11, Sakalai won the 2008–09 BBL Challenge Cup, defeating VEF Rīga 84–77, they lost the series 2–1 to Nevėžis Kėdainiai for the opportunity to play in the Elite Division and stayed in the BBL Challenge Cup for the 2009–10 season. While the team had continued success in the Challenge Cup, winning bronze medals twice, in the LKL the team never reached the playoffs again.
The team's success ran out, in the next few seasons they plummeted to the bottom in the LKL standings. In 2013, after a poor season, the team was ejected from the LKL due to a poor financial situation; the situation of the team was left uncertain. During the 2013 -- 14 season, it was announced. Andrius Giedraitis 1994–1999 Ramūnas Šiškauskas 1996–1998 Dainius Šalenga 1998–2000 Saulius Kuzminskas 1999–2000 Alvydas Pazdrazdis 1999–2000 Simas Jasaitis 2000–2001 Mindaugas Lukauskis 2001–2002 Marius Prekevičius 2001–2002 Renaldas Seibutis 2003–2005 Martynas Gecevičius 2004–2007 Mindaugas Kuzminskas 2006–2007 Lithuanian Basketball A League champions: 1994 Baltic Basketball League Challenge Cup champions: 2009
The 2008–09 Euroleague was the 9th season of the professional basketball competition for elite clubs throughout Europe, organised by Euroleague Basketball Company, it was the 52nd season of the premier competition for European men's clubs overall. The season, which featured 24 teams from 13 different countries, culminated in the 2008–09 Euroleague Final Four at the new O2 World arena in Berlin, Germany, it was won by Panathinaikos, who defeated in the defending champions, CSKA Moscow. While the general structure of the competition was identical to that used in recent seasons, changes were made to the format for two of its phases, the Regular Season and Quarterfinals. DKV Joventut qualified as ULEB Cup winners. Regular Season The first phase was a regular season, in which the competing teams were drawn into four groups, each containing six teams; each team played every other team in its group at home and away, resulting in 10 games for each team in the first stage. The top 4 teams in each group advanced to the next round.
This was the first year for this particular format. If two or more clubs finished level on won-lost record, tiebreakers were applied in the following order: Head-to-head record in matches between the tied clubs Overall point difference in games between the tied clubs Overall point difference in all group matches Points scored in all group matches Sum of quotients of points scored and points allowed in each group matchGames were played from October 22, 2008 to January 15, 2009. Top 16 The surviving teams were divided into four groups of four teams each, again a round-robin system was adopted resulting in 6 games each, with the top 2 teams advancing to the quarterfinals. Tiebreakers are identical to those used in the Regular Season. Games began on January 28 and ended March 12. Quarterfinals In the quarterfinals, the top placed teams from each Top 16 group played second placed teams from a different group in a best-of-five playoff series, with the winners of those series advancing to the Final Four.
This was the first season. The quarterfinal matches were played from March 24 until April 9. Final Four format The culminating stage of the Euroleague in which the four remaining teams played a semifinal match and the winners of those advance to the final; the losers played in a third-place playoff. The team, victorious in the Final would be Euroleague champion; the Final Four semifinals were played May 1, with the third-place game and final on May 3. The regular season began on October 20, 2008 and concluded on January 15, 2009; the Top 16 stage was played from January 28 to March 12, 2009. The draw was conducted on January 19 at Euroleague Basketball Company headquarters in Barcelona; the group winners in the Regular Season were drawn from one pot, the runners-up from one pot, the teams in 3rd place from one pot and those in 4th place from one pot. Teams that played in the same group in the Regular Season could not meet again in the Top 16. Teams from the same country could not be drawn into the same pool unless it was necessary to prevent teams from the same Regular Season group from being drawn together.
Team 1 hosted Game 5 if necessary. Team 2 hosted Game 3, Game 4 if necessary; the Final Four was played on May 1 and on May 3. Semifinal games were played on Friday, while the third-place playoff and Final were played on Sunday; the event was hosted at the O2 World in Berlin. It was the first time. Juan Carlos Navarro Vassilis Spanoulis Novica Veličković Dimitris Diamantidis Igor Rakočević Duško Vujošević Marco Baldi ULEB Eurocup 2008–09 EuroChallenge 2008–09 Euroleague official site
The 2003 FIBA European Championship called FIBA EuroBasket 2003, was the 33rd FIBA EuroBasket regional basketball championship held by FIBA Europe, which served as Europe qualifier for the 2004 Summer Olympics, giving a berth to the top three teams in the final standings. It was held in Sweden between September 5 and September 14 2003. Sixteen national teams entered the event under the auspices of FIBA Europe, the sport's regional governing body; the cities of Borås, Luleå, Norrköping, Södertälje and Stockholm hosted the tournament. Lithuania won its third FIBA European title by defeating Spain with a 93–84 score in the final. Lithuania's Šarūnas Jasikevičius was voted the tournament's MVP. Of the sixteen teams that participated in EuroBasket 2003, hosts Sweden and World Champions Serbia and Montenegro qualified directly; the other fourteen teams earned their berths via a qualifying tournament. The teams were split in four groups of four teams each; the first team from each group qualified directly to the knockout stage.
To define the other four teams that advanced to the knockout stage and third-placed teams from each group where cross-paired and the winner from each match advanced to the knockout stage. In the knockout quarterfinals, the winners advanced to the semifinals; the winners from the semifinals competed for the championship in the final, while the losing teams play a consolation game for the third place. The losing teams from the quarterfinals play in a separate bracket to define 5th through 8th place in the final standings. At the start of tournament, all 16 participating countries had 12 players on their roster. Times given below are in Central European Summer Time. 2003 European Championship for Men, FIBA.com
The 2007 FIBA European Championship called FIBA EuroBasket 2007, was the 35th FIBA EuroBasket regional basketball championship held by FIBA Europe, which served as Europe qualifier for the 2008 Summer Olympics, giving a berth to the champion and runner-up teams. It was held in Spain between 3 September and 16 September 2007. Sixteen national teams entered the event under the auspices of FIBA Europe, the sport's regional governing body; the cities of Alicante, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Seville hosted the tournament. Russia won its first FIBA EuroBasket title since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, by defeating hosts Spain, with a 60–59 score in the final. Russia's Andrei Kirilenko was voted the tournament's MVP. Of the sixteen teams that participated in EuroBasket 2005, hosts Spain plus the eight European teams that participated in the 2006 FIBA World Championship qualified directly; the other seven teams earned their berths via a qualifying tournament. The draw for FIBA EuroBasket 2007 was held in Madrid, 19 October 2006.
The top three teams from each group advance to the qualifying round, in which they are separated into two groups. Results and standings among teams within the same group are carried over; the top four teams at the qualifying round advance to the knockout quarterfinals. The winners in the knockout semifinals advance to the Final, where both are guaranteed of berths in the 2008 Olympics; the losers figure in a third-place playoff. Before the tournament, the semifinal losers and the teams participating in the 5th-place playoff were assured of berths to the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2008. Spain, which lost in the final to Russia, had qualified for the Olympics as reigning world champions. Since they occupied what would otherwise be a qualifying place, third-place Lithuania received a direct Olympic berth, seventh-place Slovenia advanced to the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2008. Ties are broken via the following criteria, with the first option used first, all the way down to the last option: Head to head results Goal average in the games between the tied teams Goal average in all games in its group At the start of tournament, all 16 participating countries had 12 players on their roster.
Times given below are in Central European Summer Time. Game Statistics Legend: PTS = points, FT = free-throws, 2-FG = 2-point field goals, 3-PG = 3-point field goals, Rebs = Rebounds Bosnia and Herzegovina: BHRT Bulgaria: BNT Croatia: HRT Cyprus: RIK 2 Czech Republic: Česká televize France: Sport+ / Canal+ Germany: DSF Greece: ERT Israel: Sport 5/Channel 10 Italy: RAI Latvia: TV3 Latvia Lithuania: TV3 Lithuania Philippines: Basketball TV Poland: Polsat Portugal: RTP Russia: RTR Sport Romania: Sport.ro Serbia: RTS Spain: LaSexta Slovenia: RTV Slovenija Turkey: NTV Ukraine: Megasport / Sport 1 Ukraine Eurobasket 2007 Official Site 2007 EuroBasket, FIBA.com. Information on tickets and venues