The republic was formed in 1920 following the politically 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 around ethically Polish/Yiddish/Lithuanian mixed city of Vilnius/Wilno who seized it during Żeligowski's Mutiny in October 1920 . For 18 months the entity served as a buffer state between Poland and Lithuania, which had laid a historic claimed to the area. A delayed and disputed election took place on January 8, 1922, and the territory was annexed to Poland.
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.
The nation's president was Lucjan Żeligowski.