A Vilnius court on Wednesday heard testimony of witness Valeriy Ivanov, the leader of the pro-Soviet Yedinstvo organization, in the trial over the 13 January 1991 attempted coup.
Valeriy Ivanov
Valeriy Ivanov
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Ivanov, 69, told the court he was a graduate of Warsaw University who headed the Yedinstvo organization in Lithuania. The organization included persons of various nationalities and worked in Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Kaunas. In his words, the first meeting of the group was held on Nov. 3 of 1988, and the participants authorized Ivanov to undertake organizational issues, as he already had experience from the development of the Solidarity movement in Poland.

"We only used political ways of fighting. This was my principle. I categorically refused to create power structures and groups, as the country had the Ministry of Interior Affairs in charge of security. Our activities included protest actions, petitions and newspaper publications," Ivanov said.

He assured that the organization had no contacts with the Communist Party headed by Mykolas Burokevičius, adding that the communists strongly disliked Yedinstvo.

Speaking about the developments of Jan. 13 of 1991, Ivanov said it was "clear that a political play was taking place."

In July 1997, Ivanov was sentenced to a year in prison for slander of the victims of 13 January 1991. In his book Lithuanian Prison, he stated that the casualties of the attempted 1991 coup were a Lithuanian forgery and that the Soviet army had not killed a single freedom defender in Vilnius.

Ivanov served his sentence in a penitentiary in Alytus, southern Lithuania.

More than 60 persons have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case went to court this January. It is one of the biggest criminal trials in the history of independent Lithuanian courts in terms of its volume and number of defendants. All of the defendants except two are standing trial in absentia.

In the early hours of 13 January of 1991, 14 unarmed civilians were killed by the actions of Soviet troops outside the Press Center, the Television Tower and the Lithuanian Radio and Television Building.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

New buzz word in education around the world

GRIT is something that needs to be understood by both parents and students and should be conveyed by...

5 businessmen and companies get patron names from Vilnius municipality

The Council of Vilnius for the first time officially gave patron names to five businessmen and...

Separated by distance, united in celebrations: story of Lithuania and India (1)

This week, two big celebrations will take place: India is celebrating Holi (also known as Festival of...

First solo exhibition by Julijonas Urbonas opened at Collective Edinburgh

Planet of people, the most recent project by Julijonas Urbonas , was launched, at Collective’s City...

Lithuanian author long-listed for prestigious UK literary award

Noir Press announced that Lithuanian author Grigory Kanovich has just been long-listed for the...

Top news

President signs into law tougher penalties for breaking quarantine rules

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has signed into law a legislative package introducing tougher...

811 coronavirus cases in Lithuania

On Sunday morning, there were 811 COVID-19 cases in Lithuania. 10 deaths related to the novel...

Lithuania's Devold says could make 100,000 medical coveralls by late summer

Norwegian-owned Lithuanian textile manufacturer Devold says it could producer around 100,000...

10th coronavirus death reported

Another patient infected with COVID-19 died in Lithuania on Saturday, bringing the country's death...

Lithuania no longer allows cars from Russia, Belarus to enter

A ban for passenger cars to enter Lithuania from Belarus and Russia have come into force on...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina