On January 12, Lithuanians commemorated the tragic events of 1991 by lighting symbolic bonfires in the vicinity of the Vilnius TV Tower. The fires were also laid near the building of the Lithuanian Television and in Independence Square.
The ceremony was attended by Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, and others.
On the night of 13 January 1991, the Soviet army units stormed the Vilnius TV Tower and the building of Lithuanian TV. Thousands of locals took to the streets to defend their independence. 14 civilians were killed, about 800 persons were injured.
Lithuania was the first Soviet country to adopt the Act of Independence in the 1990s. The Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution on replacing the name ‘Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic’ by ‘the Republic of Lithuania’. The MPs also brought back the country’s historical national symbols, including the Vytis coat of arms.
Hanna Rusinava, belsat.eu