LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Copyright © 2008 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Volume 54, No 1 - Spring 2008
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
The Price of Freedom
January 13, 1991 in Lithuania
Darius Furmonavičius, MA in International Relations (University of Nottingham, 1996), PhD in European Studies (University of Bradford, 2002), is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bradford. He is the author of Lithuania Rejoins Europe (East European Monographs and Columbia University Press, 2008).
On Sunday night January 13, 1991, beginning at 1:35 a.m. local time, Soviet Special Forces, using tanks and armored personnel carriers, attacked the Lithuanian Television and Radio transmission tower that dominates the skyline of the northern suburbs of Vilnius. Fourteen innocent people were killed by Soviet troops that night and over 500 were wounded during this brutal operation, when the tanks drove through crowds of unarmed civilians who had gathered to guard the tower in defense of Lithuanian broadcasting as a symbol of the country’s Independence.1 Vytautas Landsbergis recalled:
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 14, 1991 commented:
Lithuania’s freedom is broken, and the world has reason to worry about the other Baltic republics. The answer to the question, ‘Is Gorbachev still master of the situation’ – be the answer yes or no – is equally scary. In the first case it is clear from the events of the military intervention on Sunday night that the will to reform has been crippled. Were perestroika and glasnost only temporary measures of a politics whose goal remained unchanged, namely the preservation of Soviet power? 3
The Financial Times in London also observed on January 14:
If the west were to decide that the military murders in Vilnius this weekend were a deliberate act of presidential authority, and if this is a harbinger of more to come, then the western states must open an examination of phased withdrawal of its aid to the Soviet Union. It must re-examine its posture on arms-control agreements and on further arms cuts. It must reassure at least those central European countries, which are building democratic structures from the collapse of Soviet and domestic communist tutelage that it now regards them as inviolable … But the terrible choice will be inescapable if the sky continues to darken. As it becomes clear that reaction has gripped the structures of Soviet power, so we cannot continue collaboration with it.4
Elsewhere, Czesław Miłosz, American Nobel prize-winning poet of Polish and Lithuanian origin, wrote that:
The thrashing tail of the wounded totalitarian beast has hit Lithuania, and our concern with Middle Eastern events should not make us indifferent to the tragedy of this small nation. The military and the KGB have made a mistake by sending troops. If there was a chance the Baltic states would remain part of a federation with its centre in Moscow, that chance is now lost. Without exaggeration, one can say that the blood spilled in Vilnius is the gauge of Lithuania’s future as an independent country.5
This last sentiment was expressive of a real change in attitude toward the de facto character of the Soviet presence in Lithuania and the two other Baltic States that was now generalized at the highest levels. World opinion had, in fact, reacted with revulsion. The former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz said,
we should be very strong in our statements about the Baltics. The Baltics, as far as we are concerned, are independent countries. We’ve never recognized that they are a part of the Soviet Union. The flags of the Baltics hang in the lobby of the State Department to this day. So that is our posture, and we should say so.6
In the same vein, Henry Kissinger wrote that if the Soviet government intervened militarily in Lithuania on a larger scale, “this might have a bigger influence on the international situation than the war in the Persian Gulf.” 7 It was against this background of international condemnation that Lithuania gave her own evaluation of the Soviet military actions as an “open military aggression that must be immediately stopped.” 8
Other political steps were taken which emphasized the cynical illegality of the Soviet military action when Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia recognized each other’s sovereignty in a concerted action on January 14, 1991.9 Russia’s contribution at this junction should be noted as particularly important, since it contributed to the later Soviet collapse, when the largest Soviet republic was choosing its own path towards sovereignty and independence from the USSR by recognizing the three Baltic States as independent countries. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia then applied collectively to Xavier Peres de Cuellar, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, requesting the immediate convention of an international conference for the regulation of the Baltic Problem.10 In moving this action, Landsbergis was effectively telling the West that “if you want to help us, please support Yeltsin, not Gorbachev,” and at last he could be quite confident that the world was really aware of the burdens he had been carrying.11
The Supreme Council of Lithuania now appealed to all the peoples of the Soviet Union, reminding them that the unfolding tragedy in Lithuania was also a tragedy for them, and invited them to do everything possible to stop Soviet aggression.12 On January 13, 1991 the Supreme Council issued a further appeal to the states of the world, informing them that the USSR had declared war on Lithuania, and inviting them to recognize that the Soviet Union had, in fact, attacked another sovereign state.13 These external actions heralded to the world that the Lithuanians were preparing to continue the work of their Parliament and the government under any circumstances that could be foreseen, even the darkest situation. The Parliament therefore, passed a law providing for the organization of a government in exile in the event that the Supreme Council should be unable to work in Vilnius because of Soviet military intervention.14 In step with this action, Russia’s leader, Boris Yeltsin, issued an appeal to Russian soldiers in the Baltic States, stating that the sending of soldiers outside the borders of the Russian Federation was an illegal act, and inviting them to think about their own families left at home.15
The Lithuanian Parliament passed a decree announcing the activity of the Committee for the National Salvation to be criminal; and on January 14, 1991, it issued its own appeal to Soviet army officers and soldiers in Lithuania, reminding them that they had often been pushed into crimes against humanity by the Soviet authorities and, further, that their oath to defend the state did not entail an obligation to kill innocent people abroad who love their own homeland.16 It was accompanied by a statement explaining the illegal actions of Soviet military forces that had captured and were occupying the Press House in Vilnius, the home of many editorial boards of the Lithuanian national press, and the studios of the Lithuanian National Television and Radio Service, and other key buildings, pillaging the premises, destroying equipment, and even wounding and killing peaceful people who were protecting these places. This protest against these brutal actions included the demand: that the army should be withdrawn from these buildings, compensation made for the damage, and the initiators of the operation punished, no matter how high their rank was.17
The intense Soviet military activity continued, however. The Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs regularly informed the press how Soviet troops stopped cars and fired upon civilians. One person was shot at night for having attempted to film soldiers from a car, and three deliberate collisions between civilian cars and military vehicles were recorded on another night.18 On January 17, the car of Vidmantas Povilionis, a Member of Parliament, was stopped by Soviet officers on the Kaunas-Vilnius highway. They ordered him to raise his hands above his head and then kept him standing in the cold for two and a half hours while threatening to shoot him.19 These stories were circulated widely, and no one could remain in doubt about the real policies of the Soviet empire.
There were some positive steps at this stage in the response of the United States, which now applied pressure on the Soviet Union, demanding a halt to these military actions. The Department of State stated publicly that the United States was deeply concerned over the situation in the Baltic States, and that peaceful dialogue was the only way to stabilize the situation in Lithuania. Indeed, Secretary James A. Baker invited the Soviet Ambassador to discuss the situation in Lithuania, despite being busy with the Gulf crisis.20 However, quid pro quo, the Soviets also stepped up the propaganda war against Lithuania as Soviet officers attempted to deny responsibility for killing innocent people by the Lithuanian Television and Radio Tower in Vilnius. They fabricated stories, claiming that the people who died there had been killed by the Lithuanian Defense Department, and that the bodies had been laid before the tanks to be photographed to provide fascist anti-Soviet propaganda.21 The government responded in protest, stating it was totally untrue to argue that Lithuania was divided into two opposing sides, and that the Soviet claims that unarmed Lithuanian people had attacked the Soviet troops were simply unfounded.
With the eyes of the world on Lithuania and the passions of the nation engaged in indignation at what had occurred, state funerals took place on January 16, 1991 of the men and women who had died while guarding the Vilnius Television and Radio Tower. In his eulogy, Father Robertas Grigas, one of the most prominent defenders of the Parliament, said simply: “The tanks will not force us to behave against our conscience.”22 The new Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius told the mourners that Soviet military forces had learned nothing from their aggressions in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan. “We demand the establishment of an international commission to investigate the crimes of the Soviet Army,” he said.23 The Secretary of the Latvian Supreme Soviet was also present and declared that these Lithuanian brothers and sisters had died, not only for Lithuania, but also for Latvian independence. Other participants at the state funeral, including many members of Parliament and senators from neighboring states, also made statements, saying that the Soviet Union had attempted a coup d’état in Lithuania through military force. They affirmed that there had been no internal conflict, despite the Soviet leadership’s attempt to describe events in those terms. The truth was the struggle pitted Soviet military force against a democratically elected Lithuanian Parliament and a validly appointed government.24
The ripple effect from the events in Vilnius continued. In an address on January 29, President George H. W. Bush revealed that the Soviets had promised to withdraw the troops and reopen dialogue with the Baltic States.25 In his key letter to Gorbachev, President Bush stated on January 23:
Last June, during the Washington Summit, we talked about the effect of Soviet actions in the Baltic States at great length. I explained that I appreciated the constraints under which you were operating, but that I too faced certain pressures. Nonetheless, I honored your personal request and signed the Trade Agreement in spite of the economic blockade that the Soviet Union had imposed on Lithuania. You gave me assurances that you would take steps to settle peacefully all differences with the Baltic leaders. Several weeks later, you lifted that blockade and began a dialogue with Lithuanian and other Baltic leaders. From that time on, our cooperation in the economic sphere has expanded, culminating in the steps that I took on December 12 in response to the difficult circumstances that your country faced as winter approached. I said then that I wanted to do something to help the Soviet Union stay on the course of political and economic reform.
Unfortunately, in view of the events of the last two weeks – resulting in the deaths of at least twenty people in the Baltic States – I cannot in good conscience, and indeed will not, continue along this path. I believe that the leaders of the Baltic States have acted with restraint, particularly in the last two weeks, and did not deserve to have their quest for negotiations met with force. The unrelenting intimidation, pressure, and armed force to which these democratically elected leaders have been subjected is something that I frankly cannot understand.
I had hoped to see positive steps toward the peaceful resolution of this conflict with the elected leaders of the Baltic States. But in the absence of that, and in the absence of a positive change in the situation, I would have no choice but to respond. Thus, unless you can take these positive steps very soon, I will freeze many elements of our economic relationship, including Export-Import credit guarantees, Commodity Credit Cooperation credit guarantees, support for “Special Associate Status” for the Soviet Union in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; and most of our technical assistance programs. Further, I would not submit the Bilateral Investment Treaty for Consent to ratification when and if they are completed.26
However, despite Gorbachev’s promise to Bush, the Soviet army continued its activities in Vilnius; and on the night of January 24-25, they blocked almost all entrances to the city, stopping cars by shooting into the air. Some of their troops attacked a car belonging to the Supreme Council, wounding an accountant and seizing money that he was taking from the bank back to the Parliament. They also fired on security staff and a group of four English journalists, who had already been detained for hours in a Soviet military area near Vilnius as they were arriving at the Parliament.27 Again, in cynical contradiction to the promise given to the President of the United States, Gorbachev gave a directive requiring Soviet troops to patrol the streets of Lithuania with authority to enter any premises. Ostensibly, this was to search for “criminals,” but since it was linked with the matter of patriotic demonstrations of any kind, it gave a new meaning to that word. An unannounced decree of the Soviet Defense Ministry and Ministry of Internal Affairs permitting this activity had been signed in readiness on December 29, 1990; and now on January 26, it was implemented at the initiative of the Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev. The Lithuanian Supreme Council protested immediately against this arbitrary action and appealed to the democratic states, asking for help to stop these renewed moves towards dictatorship in the Soviet Union.28
The reaction in the West to the killings in Vilnius was serious. There was a real sense of shock, and this time the positions were firm. Perhaps it had dawned on people what really underlay the genial bonhomie that they associated with Comrade Gorbachev. The Soviet actions were therefore reflected on endlessly in the press and found wholly unacceptable on moral grounds. In Washington, President Bush said openly that he had found “the turn of events deeply disturbing” and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. Speaking later in Congress, he said the United States “remained committed to helping the Baltic States.” Meanwhile, the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had sent a confidential message to Gorbachev demanding the withdrawal of troops.29 Both the U.S. Senate and the Bundestag then passed resolutions asking the Soviet president “to refrain from using force,” calling upon him “to withdraw Soviet troops from Lithuania.”30 Similar reactions came from the majority of Western governments, but Iceland’s Foreign Minister Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, who headed the official delegation of Iceland to Lithuania, stated on January 20 that, “my government is seriously considering the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of Lithuania.” The Allting (Parliament) of Iceland then informed the Supreme Council of Lithuania just three weeks after the Soviet attacks that the recognition of the Lithuanian state originally made in 1922 was still valid, and that Iceland intended to restore full diplomatic relations with Lithuania as soon as possible.31
The European Parliament now made a special statement regarding the situation in the Baltic States that expressed a categorical demand for an end to military actions in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. It condemned military aggression against the Baltic nations, and stated that this aggression violated the principles of the Helsinki agreements, which had been confirmed only a few weeks before in Paris. The document also invited the Council of Ministers of the European Community to include the Baltic problem on the agenda of the next meeting of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and declared that it would halt all programs of technical assistance to the Soviet Union, keeping the situation under careful review until all military units had been withdrawn from the Baltic States. It also demanded that the dialogue between the Baltic States and the Kremlin regarding the future of the three states should immediately be renewed and condemned all the current attempts to limit freedom of the press in the Soviet Union. Finally, it invited Mikhail Gorbachev to identify the persons responsible for this military aggression and to make the necessary conclusions. It also resolved to block a one billion dollar European Community food aid package, which had originally been prepared at the request of the Soviet Union, until these matters had been dealt with.32
These acts of solidarity by the West helped Lithuania greatly. Even Japan withheld delivery of 100 million dollars’ worth of food supplies that had been intended for the Soviets. The U.S. Secretary of State, James A. Baker, announced that, “the use of force by the Soviet government in the Baltics fundamentally and tragically contradicts the basic principles of perestroika, glasnost, and democratization.”33 He reiterated his earlier statement that “partnership is impossible in the absence of shared values.”34 This extended Western reaction ensured that there was no further bloodshed in Lithuania. The expected attack on the Parliament, so closely anticipated and expected to come with little notice, never materialized. Nevertheless, the Soviets continued their program of violence and intimidation for weeks afterward, although it was done at considerable cost to Gorbachev, whose former reputation as a reformer was now irrecoverable. The Nobel Prize winning poets Czesław Miłosz and Josef Brodsky went so far as to suggest that Gorbachev’s Nobel Prize should be revoked. The Norwegians collected a half-million-dollar peace prize for the Lithuanian people and entrusted it to Vytautas Landsbergis. According to Professor Vytautas Vardys, Gorbachev, formerly the shining hero of historic reform, was now regarded with anger, disappointment and sadness35.
Despite the fact that no one assumed responsibility for the Soviet military actions, it was clear that they had been well orchestrated and probably from the highest level. Although Gorbachev claimed that he had heard about the massacre “only the next morning,” it was common knowledge that the Soviet system worked in a manner that required his prior agreement. This supposition was confirmed, when a commission of military experts from the independent organization “Shchit” (Shield), which had come into being to gather the opinions of experts opposed to the gross abuses of military force and personnel in the Soviet army, delivered a report that concluded a coup d’état had been attempted in Lithuania, “with the help of the army, the internal forces of the Interior Ministry, and the KGB of the Soviet Union, for the purpose of restoring the political rule of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [to be exercised] by its constituent part, the Lithuanian Communist Party.” The report continued: “The President of the USSR had to know about the planned concomitant actions of the Soviet army, the internal forces of the Ministry of the Interior, and the KGB. Such actions could not be taken without his personal permission.”36 However, instead of acknowledging his responsibility, Mikhail Gorbachev blamed local military commanders for “choosing the wrong type of response” to demands that had come from the National Committee of Salvation asking them to intervene “to protect human rights in Lithuania.” “If you want to find out […] who gave their response, there is one way to do that, it’s […] the President, who is also their chief leader of their army, he could demand […]reports from his three ministers: Yazov, Pugo and Kruchkov,” commented Vytautas Landsbergis.37 As ever, the Soviet system continued to manipulate truth to its own advantage, but its credibility since January 13, was now thin; and it was clear that the Baltic region had become an international problem, rather than a domestic one, despite Gorbachev’s arguments.
Effectively, the Soviet system had blown its chance. Its brutality continued to be faced with Lithuanian firmness and calmness. The Kremlin had immediately followed the debacle of January 13 with preparations for a referendum to be held on Lithuanian territory. It was a crude attempt to gain popular backing over the question of a new Union Treaty. In response, the Lithuanians prepared their own national referendum that raised the single significant question: “Do you favor the idea that the Lithuanian state should be an independent democratic republic?” The ballot was held on February 9, 1991, and its outcome demonstrated clearly to the world that the absolute majority of the Lithuanian people believed Lithuania must continue on its chosen path of independence and democracy.38 The evidence was unarguable: of the total 2,652,738 voters in Lithuania, 2,247,810 (84.74 per cent) voted. Of these 2,028,339 (90.47 per cent) voted yes, i.e., supporting the proposition of independence and democracy.39 The result was therefore crystal clear, but Gorbachev had denounced this referendum even before the vote took place. He now pushed on to organize a further “All Union referendum” on March 17, on ‘the question of the territorial integrity of the USSR.’ Interestingly, only an extremely small minority of Lithuania’s population participated in this event, which was in effect conducted illegally on Lithuanian territory.40 This outcome demonstrated satisfactorily to the world that the Lithuanian Parliament and Government had solid popular support for its position, and that the case for continued political ties with the USSR was a unilateral policy purely of the Kremlin’s creation.
The results of the Lithuanian referendum and the total failure of the attempted Soviet referendum did not, however, lead to negotiations between Lithuania and the Soviet Union, although the Kremlin now started to pay lip-service to the idea of negotiation. It is evident that it wished to demonstrate some sort of willingness toward a Soviet-Lithuanian dialogue, if only because it needed to play up to Washington in order to avoid the cancellation of the planned Soviet-American summit. Even before Lithuania had conducted its February 9 referendum, Gorbachev announced the formation of the “negotiating group,” whose first meeting took place on April 4, 1991. The discussion went rather well and both sides declared themselves satisfied with this discussion on the “regulation of the relationships between the Republic of Lithuania and the USSR.” The discussion covered the principles, goals, and procedures of future discussions, but the formulas used carefully excluded any mention either of “independence” or of the “Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania.”41 It is difficult to see what this blandness implied because this procedural negotiation, which can be interpreted as the opening of the Soviet-Lithuanian discussions, did not develop into a full negotiation. Essentially, the position was one of stalemate until the Moscow Putsch took place on August 19, 1991, although the situation in Lithuania remained tense. The killings of six Lithuanian customs officials by OMON special purpose police squads on the eve of the Soviet-American summit, during the “3 on 3” meeting between Gorbachev, Besmertnij, and Chernomyrden and George Bush, James Baker, and Brent Scowcroft at 11:30 am on July 31, 1991 at Gorbachev’s dacha, were no doubt an indication that either the Soviet leadership attempted to test the American reaction in a rather brutal way, or that it was losing control of its power structures.42
The international implications of the attempted coup d’état in Moscow that followed in August 1991 have been well documented. Much of the discussion has focused on the internal inertia of the communist hegemony that had patently worsened during the Brezhnev era and on the superficial attempts at reform under Mikhail Gorbachev. If there was indeed any sense of “historical necessity” in the changes that came about as a result of the coup, it was because the communist system was unsuited to a world of increasing freedom of communication and economic liberalization. The clumsy conclusion of the plot to turn the Soviet state back on its course by repudiating Gorbachev and the ambiguous course that he had taken in the direction of reform in August 1991 touches the real question of whether the communist state was ever transformable. Gorbachev’s failures opened up the issues that Landsbergis then put forth so effectively. In fact, he asserted that the only answer to the problem was to dismember the Evil Empire. Gorbachev’s maneuvers were unsuccessful; and the most devoted Soviet apparatchiks were driven in the opposite direction, seeking to turn the clock back to Stalinism. The significance of the Lithuanian contribution to the demise of this perverse revanchism lies in the Lithuanian nation’s path to freedom and its place in history as a catalyst for the momentous change that was poised to sweep through Eastern European politics; and, indeed, it still deserves wide and unmistakable recognition.
To paraphrase Anne Applebaum’s statement about her monumental book Gulag that “this book was written because it almost certainly will happen again. Totalitarian philosophies have had and will continue to have a profound appeal to many millions of people;”43 we could say that remembering what happened on January 13 in Vilnius helps Lithuania’s friends in their effort to diminish the attraction of that appeal internationally. The First Lithuanian Prayer Breakfast in London was organized by the Lithuanian Embassy and the Lithuanian Parish to remember the victims of Soviet aggression and to discuss the events in the wider context of European history and Western civilization. While the discussions will never be published, in line with the tradition of the Prayer Breakfast, the two keynote speeches of Can. Michael Bourdeaux and President Vytautas Landsbergis, MEP, deserve wider international attention.
1. Loreta Asanavičiūtė, Virginijus Druskis, Darius Gerbutavičius, Rolandas Jankauskas, Rimantas Juknevičius, Alvydas Kanapinskas, Algimantas Petras Kavoliukas, Vidas Maciulevičius, Titas Masiulis, Alvydas Matulka, Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitis, Ignas Šimulionis, Vytautas Vaitkus, Vytautas Koncevičius “Didvyriškai žuvusiųjų Lietuvos radijo ir televizijos gynėjų vardai,” Lietuvos aidas, January 15, 1991, 1.
2. Interview with Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, The Second Russian Revolution. 2RR 3/5/2, British Library of Political and Economic Science.
3. From the editorial “The will to reform is broken” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for January 14, 1991. In The Gift of Vilnius. A Photographic Document in Defense of Freedom. January 13, 1991. A Terrible Beauty is Born. Chicago: Public Affairs Council, Lithuanian American Community, 1991, 46.
4. From the editorial “Consequences of Vilnius” Financial Times, January 14, 1991. In The Gift of Vilnius, 52
5.Czesław Miłosz, “Moscow’s poisoned tomato.” The Gift of Vilnius, 5.
6. Quoted in The Gift of Vilnius, 64.
7. “Nesutarimus lydės smurtas,” Lietuvos aidas, January 31, 1991, 3.
8. “Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiosios Tarybos nutarimas dėl priemonių Lietuvos respublikai ginti,” Lietuvos aidas, January 15, 1991, 1.
9. “Pareiškimas,” Lietuvos aidas, January 15, 1991, 1.
10. Landsbergis was convinced that Lithuania would be attacked under the smokescreen provided by the Gulf war. So he asked the western nations to postpone the beginning of the Gulf war: “Kreipimasis į Jungtinių Tautų Generalinį Sekretorių Jo Prakilnybę poną Ksavierą Peresą de Kueljarą” (Appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations), Lietuvos aidas, January 15, 1991, 1.
11. Interview with Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, the President of Lithuanian Parliament, Cardiff, May 10, 2000.
12. “Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiosios Tarybos Kreipimasis,” Lietuvos aidas, January 16, 1991, 1.
13. Ibid. 1.
14. “Lietuvos Respublikos Įstatymas dėl Lietuvos Respublikos vyriausybės emigracijoje,” Lietuvos aidas, January 15, 1991, 4.
15. “Boriso Jelcino kreipimasis į Rusijos kareivius,” Lietuvos aidas, January 16, 1991, 1.
16. “Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiosios Tarybos nutarimas dėl vadinamojo “Nacionalinio gelbėjimo komiteto” veiklos politinio ir teisinio įvertinimo,” Lietuvos aidas, January 16, 1991, 1. Also “Kreipimasis,” Lietuvos aidas, January 16, 1991, 1.
17. “Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiosios Tarybos Pareiškimas dėl TSRS ginkluotųjų pajėgų neteisėtų veiksmų. ” Lietuvos aidas, January 17, 1991, 1.
18. “Vyriausybėje,” Lietuvos aidas, January 17, 1991, 1.
19. “Pareiškimas,” Lietuvos aidas, January 19, 1991, 1.
20. “Pasaulio naujienos,” Lietuvos aidas, January 17, 1991, 2.
21. Lina Baltrukonytė, “Šlykštus spektaklis tęsiasi,” Lietuvos aidas, January 19, 1991, 2.
22. “Vardan tos Lietuvos.” Interview with Fr. Robertas Grigas, http://www.ausra.pl/a0101/grigas.html.
23. Prime Minister Kazimira Prunskienė had resigned on the eve of Bloody Sunday, the abortive increase in prices by her Government having coincided with the Soviet attempts at coup d’état.
24. “RTFSR, Ukrainos Respublikos, Moldovos Respublikos, Gruzijos Respublikos ir TSRS liaudies deputatų, Lenkijos senatorių ir parlamento deputatų – įvykių Vilniuje liudininkų pareiškimas,” Lietuvos aidas, January 19, 1991, 4.
25. Stanley Vardys and Judith B. Sedaitis, Lithuania. The Rebel Nation. Boulder: Westview Press, 1997, 180.
26. Letter of POTUS (“POTUS” is the official abbreviation for President of the United Sates, which is used in an internal American governmental correspondence) to President Gorbachev, January 23, 1990. James A. Baker III Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University, MC#197, Series B: Secretary of State, Box 109.
27. “Sovietų kariuomenė siautėja,” Lietuvos aidas, January 26, 1991, 1 and January 31, 1.
28. “Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiosios Tarybos pareiškimas dėl agresijos prieš Lietuvą plėtimo ir karinės diktatūros grėsmės TSR Sąjungoje,” Lietuvos aidas, January 29, 1991, 2.
29. “JAV prezidento nuomonė ir jos komentaras,” Lietuvos aidas, January 31, 1991, 1.
30 Quoted in Vardys, 179.
31 “Pripažinimas,” Lietuvos aidas, February 13, 1991, 1.
32. “Europos parlamento bendras pareiškimas apie padėtį Baltijos valstybėse,” Lietuvos aidas, January 30, 1991, 3.
33. BATUN News, January 21, 1991, 9. Quoted in Vardys, Lithuania, the Rebel Nation, 179.
34. BATUN News, quoted in Vardys, 179.
35. It is worthy to observe that in his notes Secretary Baker changed the abbreviated name “Gorby” into “Gorbo.”
36. “Shchit” (Shield) was an independent organization of military experts in Moscow set up to investigate the abuse of military force, etc. See “Zaklyuchenie nezavisimykh voennykh expertov obshchestvenoi organizatsii “Schit” na sobytiya v Vilnyuse 11 – 13 yanvarya 1991 goda.” Quoted in Vardys, 181.
37. Interview with Landsbergis for BBC.
38. “Lietuvos valstybė yra nepriklausoma demokratinė respublika,” Lietuvos aidas, January 29, 1991, 1.
39. “Ar jūs už tai, kad Lietuvos valstybė būtų nepriklausoma demokratinė respublika,” Lietuvos aidas, February 14, 1991, 4.
40. Vardys, 183.
41. Ibid., 184.
42. Hand-written message to POTUS “Deaths of Lithuanian Border Guards” by James A. Baker III informed that:
1. This morning the Lithuanian government discovered the bodies of six border guards, plus two other seriously wounded guards, at a customs post on the border with Byelorussia.
2. The Lithuanian Government has not as of 12:30 p.m. – charged anyone with the crime.
3. U.S. Embassy notes this looks like an OMON operation. James A. Baker III Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University, MC#� � � � � � � � � � #197, Series B: Secretary of State, Box 108, Folder 5.
43. Anne Applebaum, Gulag, The History. London: Penguin, 2004, 514.