Disinfo: Unknown shooters killed 14 people in Vilnius, on January 13, 1991


The tragic events of January 13, 1991 have yet to be investigated. Then, after fire was opened by unknown shooters, 14 people were killed.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Lithuania and events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius.

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. 

On the 27 of March, 2019 the regional court in Vilnius found Dmitry Yazov, former Soviet defence minister, and more than 60 other former Soviet officers guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their involvement in Soviet aggression in Lithuania on January 13, 1991. Read more here. 


  • Reported in: Issue179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Keywords: January 13


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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US stops issuing visas in Armenia due to tense situation in region

The US Embassy in Yerevan stopped issuing entry visas to Armenian citizens, saying the decision was temporary and was due to increased security measures.

“Due to the events in the Middle East, the US Embassy in Yerevan temporarily suspended the provision of certain visa services,” – the embassy said on January 8.


The American Embassy in Yerevan did not suspend the issuance of visas. In a press release, published on 7th of January, the US Embassy informed about "a change in Embassy entry procedures when visiting the Consular section". The embassy statement does not mention that visas will no longer be issued:

"Large personal bags will no longer be permitted. You must plan on not having any item larger than a handbag with you when visiting the U.S. Embassy.  If you have larger items, you will not be permitted to enter the Embassy, you will not be able to store your items with guards, or leave them at the guard shack at the Embassy hilltop," 

The EU is trying to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations

The EU pursues a number of goals in its relations with Belarus. Firstly, torpedoing the Union State of Belarus and Russia which guarantees Belarus’ security and independence. The EU needed the talks about Partnership Priorities with Belarus for one reason only, to make Belarus deny the union with Russia. This would mean the end of Belarus as a sovereign country. The Council of the EU also endorsed the Visa facilitation agreement between Belarus and the EU in order to counteract Belarus-Russia integration.

Second, the EU realised well that torpedoing the Union State of Belarus and Russia presents a chance to change domestic policies and topple Alexander Lukashenko. EU bureaucracy sees him as the main barrier to passing power to its puppet, as done earlier with Ukraine. Later, the EU announced that the signing of the Partnership Priorities is conditioned to the resolution of the row between Belarus and Lithuania over the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. If it continues this way, the EU may soon announce that the barrier for signing the document is Alexander Lukashenko or even Belarus itself. If the Polish eastern boundaries (“kresy”) or some Lithuanian duchy was in the place of Belarus, then surely no issues would arise with the signing of the Partnership Priorities


This is conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus, to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations in general and the development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, in particular.

Over the past two years, there has been some positive progress in EU-Belarus relations. Belarus has been participating more proactively in the Eastern Partnership, particularly in the multilateral formats, while negotiations on a Mobility Partnership were concluded and Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements are expected to come into force in June 2019. Minsk started the negotiations over visa facilitation and readmission agreements in 2014, later than other EaP countries. The two sides signed the agreements on 8th June 2020 once the negotiating process and domestic procedures were over, irrespective of developments in Belarus-Russia relations. When it comes to the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities, this is the strategic framework for bilateral cooperation in the coming years, which is currently being negotiated. Read more about EU-Belarus relations here.

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We see the repetition of the “highly likely” scenario by the West, when the investigators have not yet proven anything but the culprit has already been found.


Conspiracy theory about the downing of the Ukrainian flight PS 752.

The New York Times has obtained and verified the video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran. Bellingcat geolocated the video and confirmed The New York Times' conclusions.