Disinfo: CIA was behind events in Vilnius in January 1991


Behind the events in Vilnius in 1991 was the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA taught and armed Lithuanian nationalists.

The group of CIA agents arrived in Vilnius at the end of 1990. The heads of the group were Andrew Eiva and Leonard Hof.

In 1991 Andrew Eiva armed people who were ready to defend the building of Supreme Council of Lithuania. He asked to equip defenders with guns, explosives and Molotov’s cocktails. Andrew Eiva organised explosions in homes and places of dislocation of the Soviet troops. He was head of the rebels who struggled with the Soviet forces.

To events in Vilnius also was linked “father of colour revolutions” Professor Gene Sharp.


The claim advances a recurring claim that behind the events of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius stood the US. The Lithuanian struggle for independence from the Soviet Union is presented as the first “colour revolution”.

This is part of the broad disinformation campaign linked to the commemoration of events when thirty years ago thousands of Lithuanians gathered at the TV tower, the Radio and Television headquarters and the Parliament building in the capital, Vilnius, to take a stand against Soviet troops deployed to crush Lithuanian independence. During events of January 13, 1991, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius, attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing civilians standing as human shields there. The events of January 13, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991.

Andrew Eiva is a real person. He is a former member of “Green Berets” of the US army. Andrew Eiva helped to organise the defence of the building of Supreme Council of Lithuania. At the beginning of 90s, he arrived in Lithuania by his own initiative because he has Lithuanian roots, his grandfather was Kazimieras Ladyga, Lithuanian general in the interwar period. All these facts are well-known and not a secret in Lithuania.

Gene Sharp was a well-known scientist, ideolog of non-violent protest. In the obituary (Sharp died in 2018) “The New York Times” called him “father of peaceful resistance”. Lithuanian peoples' resistance was also peaceful and non-violent, but there is no basis to claim that orchestrated by or linked to Gene Sharp.

See more information about the disinformation campaign linked to January 13 events in the publication 30 years of “colour revolution”.


  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: Lithuanian
  • Country: USSR, Lithuania, US
  • Keywords: January 13, Historical revisionism, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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