The day of the Defenders of Freedom was commemorated in Lithuania on Tuesday to honour January 13, 1991, the anniversary of the defenders of Lithuanian freedom and the victims of Soviet aggression. Bonfires were burning all around Lithuania as a reminder of the day when the country’s freedom was defended on January 13, 1991.
Sausio 13-osios minėjimas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

During the commemoration, there was obvious solidarity with Ukraine which is currently embroiled in a conflict. Along with a number of Lithuanian tricolors flying, Ukrainian flags were flying in solidarity.

On the night of January 13 in 1991, 14 people died defending the TV tower and the Lithuanian radio and television committee building from Soviet troops. They were 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, and Vytautas Koncevičius and Stasys Mačiulskas who later died from their. More than a thousand unarmed people were injured when Soviet troops opened fire.

Although Soviet troops were able to occupy the TV Tower and Lithuanian radio and television building, they did not attack the Supreme Council - Reconstituting Seimas (the parliament) building which was being protected by thousands of people.

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