Lithuania in the News
16th January 2011
|The Heroic Events of Twenty Years Ago Commemorated in Lithuania|
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitë and Latvia’s President
Valdis Zatlers pay their respects at the Antakalnis Cemetary.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt
When Russian troops advanced in Vilnius on to the TV Tower, the TV and Radio Centre and Lithuania’s Parliament House, fourteen people were killed and many hundreds wounded. But the attack ultimately failed, as the Russians had seriously underestimated the determination and incredible bravery of thousands of unarmed defenders, who were prepared to confront tanks and machine guns. The TV Tower and the TV and Radio Centre were occupied, but the Parliament House remained in Lithuanian hands. The events in Vilnius that night, when Lithuanians successfully stood up to the might of the Soviet Union, ensured Lithuania’s independence and made the eventual implosion of the Soviet Union inevitable.
Crushed by a tank, January 13 1991.
Photo by Virgilijus Usanavičius
To celebrate Lithuania’s taking up of the OSCE chairmanship, there was a concert in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace on January 12 by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. The program began with the “Dzukian Variations” by the Lithuanian composer Bronius Kutavičius, in memory of the victims of twenty years ago. (“Dzukija” is a region in southern Lithuania) The concert was very warmly received by a distinguished audience of 800 people.
In Lithuania the January 13 anniversary was widely remembered with ceremonies at all significant locations in Vilnius and in many places all over the country. Candles were lit in windows to remember the victims. Distinguished visitors from many countries were welcomed. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of solidarity with the Lithuanian nation. Many other messages of support from abroad were received.
January Events - Lithuania
Lithuania Breaks Away
Soviet troops vs unarmed Lithuanian civilians, Vilnius 1991