Lithuania staged a Soviet military Tribunal: what was the period of Marshal Yazov

Photo: Ministry Of Defence.

We will remind, in January 1991 during the meetings of Lithuanian residents demanding secession from the USSR, unknown killed 1 Soviet Lieutenant and 13 oppositionists. More than 600 people were injured. The Lithuanian authorities accuse of death Moscow, but she denies any involvement, believing that a crime may have been involved unknown snipers.

All defendants in the case January 13 pass 67 people, however, most of them tried in absentia. No luck only two Russians, Yuri Grind, detained in 2014 while returning home from Lithuania to Kaliningrad, and Gennady Ivanov, permanently residing in the Republic and arrested in 2011.

Is that the case is politically motivated, no doubt. First, the trial commenced on 27 January 2016, 25 years after that tragic event. Second, in 1991 the Bank, fulfilling orders, made only three single shot from a tank, to scare away the crowd of protesters. Ivanov throughout this uprising stood in uniform and without a weapon near the House of press. Despite this, the Lithuanian authorities found them guilty of bloodshed and was not even allowed on the sentencing of Russian journalists and the Russian Ambassador Alexander Udaltsov, thus violating the Protocol. The main accused were those whom the Lithuanian authorities will never get 93-year-old former Soviet defense Minister Dmitry Yazov and 69-year-old former commander of the alpha group Mikhail Golovatov.

Neither the investigation nor the court didn’t even try to understand the events of 1991. The guilt of the armed forces of the Soviet Union was initially perceived as an immutable truth. By the way, the denial of this “fact” in Lithuania can be imprisoned for 2 years. Such nervous attitude of local authorities towards its history is not surprising. After a quarter century in the media there is not enough of the revelations of the participants of those events which state that death was involved in the organization of the Lithuanian “sąjūdis”, fiercely fought for the independence of Vilnius. In addition, published data forensics show that people were shot from the roofs of houses where there were no Soviet soldiers. In this case, some crushed cars and not tanks, according to the Lithuanian authorities.

Sentenced to 12 years in the Golovatov sure that the sentence was necessary to Vilnius to demand from Russia compensation for the occupation. However, he recalled that in 1992, in Lithuania the victims in the case January 13 was considered to be 500 people, and now I have 1.5 thousand.

Deputy Director of the “Center of political technologies” Alexey Makarkin told “MK”, how fair can be considered the verdict of the court in Vilnius:

– Russia date 13 Jan 1991 is practically nothing, and Lithuania is one of the major dates in the modern history of the country. Tanks in Vilnius and the storming of the TV tower for a long time etched in the memory of Lithuanians and Russians do not remember, as they then there was the war in Chechnya. If we talk about the fairness of the sentence, in this case the fault of the military, who orders and does not show initiative does not seem obvious. In particular, the investigation had failed to tie the people on the dock, murder, war crimes and so on. With the tragedy has been almost 30 years, and we must try to understand people on both sides of the conflict. I have the feeling that at the trial this was not done.

Anyway, in Lithuania, the verdict probably would be seen as a triumph of justice and Russia as another attempt to hurt Moscow in the international arena.

– Why do you think the verdict was announced now and not in the 1990-ies?

– Apparently, they wanted to dock there were at least a few people, which could be entrusted the responsibility. At the same time, the more time passes, the less the participants in those events and the chance to track them. For example, in 2011 Golovatova arrested in Austria, Vienna but then decided not to quarrel with Moscow. In the end, all I could find was Grinding and Ivanova, and the others had to be condemned in absentia.

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