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2020.01.13 10:21

Lithuania commemorates Soviet aggression of January 13, 1991 – photos

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS2020.01.13 10:21

Lithuania marks the Freedom Defenders' Day on Monday to commemorate the 14 victims that lost their lives during Soviet aggression on January 13, 1991.

Fourteen civilians were killed and hundreds more were wounded when the Soviet troops stormed the TV Tower and the Radio and Television Committee building in Vilnius, the offices of present-day LRT, in the early hours of January 13, 1991.

Read more: Occupied but not silenced. January 13, 1991: the night when Soviets stormed LRT

The Soviet Union used military force in an attempt to overthrow the government of Lithuania, which had declared independence on March 11, 1990.

Read more: Occupied but not silenced. January 13, 1991: the night when Soviets stormed LRT

On Monday, candles were lit at schools, institutions and organisations across Lithuania at 8 AM, symbolising the memory, unity and victory against the Soviet aggression.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda lit candles with students from Vilnius Rytas Progymnasium.

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, is holding a solemn sitting on Monday and the annual Freedom Prize will be bestowed on Albinas Kentra-Aušra, a partisan, chronicler of the Lithuanian Atgimimas (Revival) movement.

A ceremony at Antakalnis Cemetery is paying tribute to those killed during the Janaury 1991 events.

Commemoration events were held over the weekend, too. On Saturday, a traditional run from Antakalnis Cemetery to the TV Tower paid tribute to the victims of the January 1991 events.

On Sunday night, bonfires were lit outside the parliament building and LRT headquarters.

In late March last year, Vilnius Regional Court sentenced former Soviet Defence Minister Dmitry Yazov and over 60 other former Soviet officials and military officers for crimes against humanity and war crimes, issuing prison sentences ranging from four to 14 years in absentia.