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

Summary

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.

Disproof

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".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 132
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/01/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Keywords: Occupation, Baltic states
  • Outlet: Izvestia Glavnoe @ Channel 5 TV,
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Disproof

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Further debunking by Polygraph.

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Disproof

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For background, see the information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.