Disinfo: On January 13th, 1991, people died in Vilnius at the hands of their own forces


Forest brothers in Lithuania killed 25 thousand people during the WW2, including youth and children. Now they are awarded the Freedom Prize. It is symbolic that the freedom prize is awarded on the 13th of January. On this day in 1991 fifteen people died at the TV tower in Vilnius. Later independent experts determined that these people were killed by their own forces. The prize is 5000 euros – this is the price of Lithuanian freedom. The freedom prize was made up by the parliament in 2011, is it given to those who are approved by the Lithuanian authorities for their public service – that is exceptionally russophobic.


Prominent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Independence movements in Lithuania and the Baltic States and the Forest Brothers. On January 13th Lithuania commemorates the night in 1991 when Soviet forces attempted to crush the re-established independence, killing 14 civilians. Lithuania proclaimed independence in March 1990. Moscow tried to foil the secession with an economic blockade. When that proved ineffective, 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 the January 13th, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991. The Freedom Prize was established by the Lithuanian Parliament in 2011 to acknowledge the achievements and contribution of persons and organisations to the defence of human rights, democratic development, and fostering of international cooperation for the cause of sovereignty and the right to self-determination of Eastern and Central European nations. More (in Lithuanian). The Forest Brothers were Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian partisans who fought against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation during and after the World War II. In the early 1950's, the Soviet forces had eradicated most of the partisan resistance in the Baltic States. Further reading on the Forest Brothers: Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania; Estonica; Estonian Institute of Historical Memory; Edward Lucas on Unpacking the history of the Baltic "Forest Brothers".


  • Reported in: Issue 132
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/01/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Lithuania
  • Keywords: January 13, Occupation, Baltic states
see more

Disinfo: Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is perceived as fulfilling propaganda tasks and serving the interests of oligarchs

After the coup in 2014 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is perceived as a structure, that fulfils propaganda tasks and serves political interests of oligarchs who govern the country.


Slander. No evidence on public or international perceptions given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Euromaidan and alleged coup in Ukraine.

Disinfo: Ukraine overthrew legally elected president, committed unlawful acts and undermined its own Constitution

Ukraine overthrew legally elected president, committed unlawful acts and undermined its own Constitution.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan. For background: There was no coup in Ukraine in 2014. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

Disinfo: Ukraine engages in scaremongering that Russia is about to attack it

One of the main scaremongering tactics of Ukraine that Russia is about to attack is not coming true.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian territory. For previous cases see here. The war in Ukraine is a consequence of Russia's military aggression. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf