Lithuania to reopen 1991 ‘Soviet aggression’ case

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office decided to continue the investigation into the events of January 1991, TASS reports.

“The lead prosecutor’s decision to stop the investigation on April 30 has been overruled by the higher ranked prosecutor,” said Public Relations Spokeswoman Elena Martinonene.

As Martinonene explained, this decision was made because a number of legal procedural actions need to be carried out in the case. What exact actions the prosecutor's office was required to take the representative did not specify.

The “January 13th Case” is related to the investigation into the 1991 riots in Vilnius. According to the General Prosecutor’s Office of the country, top leaders in the USSR were behind the riots and their goal was to win back the republic .

On March 27, the Vilnius District Court sentenced the former USSR Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov in absentia to 10 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The investigation considers him to have orchestrated the 1991 coup in Lithuania. In total, 67 citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are being investigated, most of them in absentia. Only two Russians appeared in court.

In early 1991, almost a year after Lithuania declared secession from the USSR, riots broke out in Vilnius. On the night of January 13, Soviet troops launched an assault on the city television center. Fifteen people were killed during the operation and more than 700 were injured.

  Lithuania, USSR, Europe, Vilnius