Last Thursday, members of the public along with foreign diplomats residing in London gathered at the Lithuanian Embassy to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Orsha, Lithuania's Embassy in United Kingdom reports.
Lithuanian Embassy in London. Photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry

The panel discussion chaired by Simon Butt, Her Majesty's former ambassador to Lithuania, centred around the main question of the talk: Can we consider the Battle of Orsha to be a clash of two distinct political entities of Central and Eastern Europe? The topic chosen for the commemorative evening was not accidental as historical parallels linked across centuries pointing to the current events in Eastern Ukraine.

"I am happy that we continue to introduce the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to our British friends. It is really fascinating how certain division lines drawn some 500 years ago could be resembled in geopolitical maps of today. As we could learn from our discussion tonight, the Westward orientation of Lithuania is not a phenomenon of the 20th century. Our aspiration to be in the "progressive" world dates back to our medieval state but was not always an easy goal to achieve", Lithuanian Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė said.

The Battle of Orsha was fought on 8 September 1514, between the allied forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, as part of a long series of Muscovite-Lithuanian wars.

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