I am interested in Hermann Minkowski and, according to Wikipedia, he “was born in Aleksotas, a village in the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire” in 1864. Wikipedia also says that Aleksotas “became part of the Russian Empire” that same year. How did that happen? A city doesn't become part of another country just like that. I suppose that this is somehow connected with the January Uprising of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but I was unable to find a link between these events. Does anyone know more about how did this happen?
You found your answer already - after the January Uprising, the Congress Poland was stripped of any remaining autonomy and incorporated into Russian Empire. The process started in 1832 after the defeat of November Uprising, and after the January Uprising was crushed, Kingdom of Poland was transformed into a namestnichestvo (a type of region ruled by governor-general) named Privislinsky krai or Vistula Land.