Vilnius 1991 anniversary: ​​Soviet officers were jailed for Gorbachev’s and company’s mistakes

Vilnius 1991 anniversary: ​​Soviet officers were jailed for Gorbachev’s and company’s mistakes

On the night of January 12-13, 1991, personnel and armored vehicles of the Soviet Army and special forces of the Alpha group were introduced into the center of Vilnius. There was an assault on the Vilnius TV tower, during which 13 people were killed.


Lithuania took a clear course towards leaving the USSR at the very beginning of 1990. On the night of March 11, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR proclaimed Lithuania an independent state. Moscow then did not recognize the sovereignty of Lithuania, but the nationalist forces already felt very confident in the republic. The Soviet government tried to resist the secession of the republic, but it did so very sluggishly and reluctantly.

In early January 1991, special forces of the KGB of the USSR from the Alpha group arrived in Vilnius. And almost simultaneously on January 7, 1991, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR began to "liberalize prices." The cost of basic foods immediately increased by more than three times.

The next day, units of the Pskov airborne division were transferred to Lithuania, and on January 10, Mikhail Gorbachev himself demanded the restoration of the Soviet Constitution on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR and the repeal of anti-Soviet acts adopted by the Supreme Council of Lithuania.

Despite their activity, the nationalist forces of Lithuania at first did not show serious resistance to the Soviet military. At least at 12 a.m. on January XNUMX, Soviet paratroopers occupied the building without any problems, which housed the Territory Protection Department, a Lithuanian security agency not controlled by Moscow.

On the night of January 13, two columns of armored vehicles of the 7th Guards Airborne Division, as well as fighters of the Alpha group, advanced to the center of Vilnius. One column went to the building of the Supreme Council of Lithuania, which gathered thousands of Lithuanians, and the other to the television tower, where crowding was also observed.


10 first tanks cleared the barriers from cars driven by the "defenders" of the TV tower, and then the Alpha special forces took the building of the television center by storm. At 2 hours and 10 minutes, a Lithuanian television announcer broadcast live that the television center was captured by the Soviet military. At the same time, a message was broadcast on Vilnius radio about the beginning of the USSR aggression against sovereign Lithuania.

During the siege of the tower, 14 people were killed (according to the version of the Lithuanian prosecutor’s office - 15 people), 140 people were injured. Among the dead, by the way, was Lieutenant V.V. Shatskikh, who served in the Alpha group.

By 5 a.m., Soviet troops moved away from the buildings of the Supreme Council of Lithuania and the television center. The order to withdraw the troops was allegedly given by Mikhail Gorbachev himself. However, none of the top officials of the Soviet Union took responsibility for the assault on the television center. Gorbachev himself has repeatedly stated that he did not know anything about the deployment of troops to the center of Vilnius.

An investigation into all the circumstances of the events of January 12-13, 1991 began almost immediately after the final separation of Lithuania from the Soviet Union. In November 1996, a trial began in Vilnius in the case “On the coup d'état of January 13, 1991”. The highest party officials of the Communist Party of the Lithuanian SSR on the platform of the CPSU were in the dock. The first secretary of the CPL Central Committee, Mikolas Burokevicius, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, the head of the ideology department, Juozas Ermalavicius, was sentenced to 8 years, 4 more people received sentences ranging from 3 to 6 years in prison.

However, the Lithuanian authorities really wanted to bring to justice the military personnel who participated in the assault on the television center. Many of them already had Russian citizenship by that time. In 2010, charges against them were reclassified to charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes. In 2011, Colonel Mikhail Golovatov, the former commander of the Alpha group, was detained in Austria, but he was immediately released despite protests from the Lithuanian authorities.

However, speculation on the assault on the telecentre continues. On January 27, 2016, the Vilnius District Court began proceedings on the assault on the television center. 65 people were recognized as accused, of whom only two fell into the dock - Russian citizens Yuri Mel (commanded the tank) and Gennady Ivanov (was the head of the missile and artillery armament service of the 107th motorized rifle division), both officers who were not lucky enough to fall into the hands of Lithuanian authorities already many years after those events.

On March 27, 2019, a Vilnius court sentenced retired Colonel Mikhail Golovatov in absentia to 12 years in prison. Two “real” accused who were arrested by the Lithuanian police received 7 years in prison - Yuri Mel and 4 years in prison - Gennady Ivanov.

In the fall of 2019, Yuri Mel made a statement about the threat to his life - according to Mel, in a Lithuanian prison he is not held with political prisoners, but with ordinary criminals - murderers, drug dealers, robbers, and in such conditions he cannot feel safe.

Russia, of course, expressed its protest to the Lithuanian side, but the matter did not go beyond formal statements. Meanwhile, Russian officers remain in a Lithuanian prison, becoming banal “switchmen” responsible for the deeds of the powerful, and the same Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev continues to calmly travel around the world without fear of detention and criminal cases.
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  1. NEXUS 12 January 2020 18: 09 New
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    And the pattern is the same as in Ukraine .... the ears stick out of the Anglo-Saxons.
    1. fruit_cake 12 January 2020 18: 12 New
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      local kings got to power using various kinds of fascist rabble and now all the other fools are told nonsense to maintain their power
      1. NEXUS 12 January 2020 18: 13 New
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        Quote: fruit_cake
        local kings got to power

        Not kings, but puppets with an Anglo-Saxon hand in the ass.
    2. svp67 12 January 2020 18: 45 New
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      Quote: NEXUS
      And the pattern is the same as in Ukraine .... the ears stick out of the Anglo-Saxons.

      It was a training ground at which they practiced what they are now fully performing in Ukraine.
      Russia, of course, expressed its protest to the Lithuanian side, but the matter did not go beyond formal statements. Meanwhile, Russian officers remain in a Lithuanian prison, becoming commonplace "switchmen",
      There were no longer protests, but more energetic measures were needed.
  2. paul3390 12 January 2020 18: 11 New
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    That's whoever publicly counts on Red Square - this is MegaDiu Mechnyy ... Eh - because you are a bastard and will die his death ... One hope for a frying pan in hell.
    1. IgorIP 12 January 2020 18: 24 New
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      The funniest thing is that this creature will survive all ... And then he will also be beaten off to the Gorbi Center (
      1. GKS 2111 12 January 2020 19: 07 New
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        "Russian officers remain in a Lithuanian prison, becoming banal “switchman” responsible for the acts of the powerful, and the same Mikhail Gorbachev continues to calmly travel around the world without fear of detention and criminal cases."
        "Gorbachev himself has repeatedly stated that he did not know anything about the deployment of troops to the center of Vilnius."
        Wow, Judas is still ... And after all wears the earth, for ...
  3. carisma620 12 January 2020 18: 27 New
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    No words, * bathhouse once the Great Country, all *** rallied.
  4. knn54 12 January 2020 18: 42 New
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    The trouble is that the “elders” were in power in the leadership of the USSR, and there were no worthy young successors. As a result, the “spa secretary” turned out to be in power. Well, the “American trainees” —Kalugin, Yakovlev and Co. made their contribution.
    A similar situation occurs in Algeria, where secular and military power is led by participants in the 60s national liberation struggle. which over 80 ...
    1. businessv 12 January 2020 19: 26 New
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      Quote: knn54
      The trouble is that the “elders” were in power in the leadership of the USSR, but there were no worthy young receivers.

      Yes, there were many sensible and competent people, colleague! The elders simply feared them and hindered their advance into power! Yes, and they did not climb into power, they get there, as a rule, people are arrogant, narrow-minded and unprincipled. Take a look at our beauties - half do not know what he is doing, nor what needs to be done in this position! A man was pierced, being the Minister of Sports, so he was appointed Minister of Construction! That will now set up reliable facilities! hi
  5. Karen 12 January 2020 18: 46 New
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    I was in Moscow at that time, and we worked a lot with the Lithuanians - they got rid of Soviet rubles, buying the necessary and not very equipment ...

    By the way, our friend from the elite of Soviet international journalism warned us in advance about the upcoming provocations and irresponsible actions of the Kremlin, and also advised us to get rid of wooden ...

    On the incident in Vilnius ... There were a lot of Pskov cadets there ... Obviously the Kremlin’s provocation ... after all, even without them, undereducated to the end, they could do it all ...
    1. carstorm 11 12 January 2020 19: 05 New
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      what provocation of the Kremlin, God forgive me ... there are few people who could even arrange provocations, huh))) Ryazan cadets and tried to use the Kremlin’s provocation during the putsch too?) don’t look for a black cat
      1. Karen 12 January 2020 19: 14 New
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        Quote: carstorm 11
        Ryazan cadets and with the putsch they also tried to use the Kremlin’s provocation?) do not look for a black cat

        GKChP? Is this about the show, or what?
        The GKChP showed only one thing - not a single Patriot of the Fatherland was in the highest echelons of the special services and the army ...
        1. carstorm 11 12 January 2020 20: 07 New
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          This is a controversial statement. even in the higher echelons, service people carry out orders. and they cannot go against the oath. I suppose I wouldn’t interfere either. there are only two ways. execute a report and become a patriot and do what your beliefs require or follow orders. but to send people to any action but at the same time defending your personal beliefs you become I do not even know who.
          1. Karen 12 January 2020 20: 33 New
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            That's interesting: how many servicemen then, after the coup, reproached himself for not taking responsibility? Everything else is an excuse for an opportunist ... (my opinion)
            1. carstorm 11 12 January 2020 20: 40 New
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              whom I knew about the decisions were not spared. What does the fittler have to do with it? you are an officer and your work is always one. you are a professional first.
              1. Karen 12 January 2020 20: 42 New
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                So I say: those who could, but did not, having given the country to the Chubais, are elementary opportunists ...
                1. carstorm 11 12 January 2020 20: 49 New
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                  oh yes no need to hang tags. politics with the army should not intersect at all. in no way. the country was given away by everyone who lived in it then, and not by its soldiers who, by order, anywhere in the world are ready to go and carry out whatever they order and die for her interests.
                  1. Karen 12 January 2020 21: 50 New
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                    Quote: carstorm 11
                    oh yes no need to hang tags. politics with the army should not intersect at all. in no way.

                    Just as it should ... Two years ago, we threw Serge off due to the fact that the commander of the battalion of peacekeepers refused the authorities to use his soldiers to suppress the protest, and he himself joined the ranks of the people ... Of course, on the same day expelled from the army, but after the change of power restored ...
                    And before that (it was about five years ago), everyone knew that if the regiment commander answers the phone: “your brother willn’t be able to order me like that,” then in the evening the thugs from the authorities go into the regiment and drive their Wishlist into the head with their boots and the commander regiment, and his guest to another colonel ...

                    Here is the difference between a patriot and an attorney, of whom you indicate to me ...
                    1. carstorm 11 12 January 2020 21: 57 New
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                      Well, damn it ... yes let them do what they want. stand in the ranks of protesters while wearing epaulettes or vice versa. for me personally, this is not much of an admiration occasion. I did not serve in the banana republics where the army makes coups and I do not want to. it is a mess and chaos. I from the dynasty of officers, my ancestors served both in the Republic of Ingushetia and in the Union in modern times. all the wars have passed, but they wouldn’t get into this and I won’t. and you can count as you like.
                      1. Karen 12 January 2020 22: 01 New
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                        Yes, I believe that the RIA officers who climbed into the Bolshevik crowd for the sake of money are traitors ... Although he was from the dynasty, even a nugget ... Everyone knew the consequences of the Bolsheviks coming to power - still the Paris commune had shown ...
    2. businessv 12 January 2020 19: 30 New
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      Quote: Karen
      By the way, our friend from the elite of Soviet international journalism warned us in advance about the upcoming provocations and irresponsible actions of the Kremlin

      Are you sure that from the elite of Soviet, not American journalism? Because the Kremlin does not have to do provocations at all - it was enough just to give an order and all the Natsiks of the Baltic states would be spread on the asphalt concrete pavement!
      1. Karen 12 January 2020 20: 15 New
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        Quote: businessv
        Are you sure that from the elite of Soviet, not American journalism?

        Yes, I’m sure ... He was from the apostles of Soviet internationalists ... And provocations - namely provocations - were obliged to come from the Kremlin: it was the Kremlin that surrendered the Union !!!
  6. Comrade 12 January 2020 19: 07 New
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    Soviet officers were imprisoned for the mistakes of Gorbachev and the company

    It was necessary to plant not the officers, but Gorbachev and the company.
    1. Barmaleyka 12 January 2020 20: 07 New
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      Quote: Comrade
      It was necessary to plant not the officers, but Gorbachev and the company.

      Guo and Co. didn’t need to be planted but shot
  7. The Siberian barber 12 January 2020 19: 08 New
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    . Russia, of course, expressed its protest to the Lithuanian side, but the matter did not go beyond formal statements. Meanwhile, Russian officers remain in a Lithuanian prison, becoming banal “switchmen” responsible for the acts of the powerful,

    Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation so toothless, or trite do not care, for people who performed their duty, before their homeland ??
    Well, you can’t do that!
    1. BAI
      BAI 12 January 2020 21: 23 New
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      Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation so toothless, or trite do not care, for people who performed their duty, before their homeland ??

      Absolutely right. The motto of the Russian Foreign Ministry is "Peace of mind is more expensive. Everything else is the last thing."
  8. g_ae 12 January 2020 19: 10 New
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    So Russians do not leave their? Or only "their"?
  9. boriz 12 January 2020 19: 11 New
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    And why did the author decide that these were mistakes? They wanted to ruin the country. Everything worked out for them.
    1. Karen 12 January 2020 20: 18 New
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      "Boris, you're right!" :) plusanul ... It's so obvious ...
  10. vanavatny 12 January 2020 19: 14 New
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    the marked insignificance is not to blame, it wasn’t in the know ... for this alone it would have to be hung on a rope until the stinking carcass reached ambient temperature, by the way, not far from that mess soldiers were sitting on trucks with weapons and without cartridges and did not understand what was happening and what to do ...
    1. sabakina 12 January 2020 19: 26 New
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      Even we, sitting in front of the TV, did not understand anything what to say of servicemen in the barracks ....
  11. GenNick 12 January 2020 19: 21 New
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    Quote: svp67
    Quote: NEXUS
    And the pattern is the same as in Ukraine .... the ears stick out of the Anglo-Saxons.

    It was a training ground at which they practiced what they are now fully performing in Ukraine.
    Russia, of course, expressed its protest to the Lithuanian side, but the matter did not go beyond formal statements. Meanwhile, Russian officers remain in a Lithuanian prison, becoming commonplace "switchmen",
    There were no longer protests, but more energetic measures were needed.

    Nevzorov, the film ,, Our ''
  12. Barmaleyka 12 January 2020 20: 05 New
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    for the mistakes of Gorbachev and company
    at least let's not lie to ourselves, for CRAFTSY and betrayal, and not for mistakes
  13. cherkas.oe 12 January 2020 20: 59 New
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    +1
    And what could be expected from a combiner with a philosophical education - neither sing, nor draw, nor steal, nor guard. Only trand and make a smart face, And today the humpback, something there farted for eternity. And the Lord will not take such a bastard to himself, apparently he is keeping us on the ground as a warning to us, so that we remember and do not forget that lies and betrayal can be packed in decent clothes and sweet speeches.
  14. DPN
    DPN 12 January 2020 21: 04 New
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    So it was customary at the top to crap, but the lower classes answer, so life is arranged.
  15. Guazdilla 12 January 2020 21: 04 New
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    He was there before, and after, and arrival, and travel.
    And what is the past tedious then? They do not like us, that’s all.
    Is there anything to offer now, besides gas and daydreaming? And the communism-war revolution is already played chips.
  16. iouris 12 January 2020 21: 36 New
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    These are not mistakes, but treason and betrayal. Gorbi was ruining the system, using the USSR Armed Forces as an instrument of provocation.
  17. Captain45 12 January 2020 22: 33 New
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    There is a lot of information on the topic of Lithuanian events in the articles of Vladislav Shved, who was the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania “Curse of Lithuania”, “Special Forces Tribunal”.
  18. Lekz 13 January 2020 01: 22 New
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    Can anyone recall why the Lithuanian court bypassed the one who gave the order to send troops to Vilnius?
    1. iouris 14 January 2020 14: 56 New
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      I remind you. This court is political. The "winners" who "defended the freedom and independence of Lithuania," and at the same time the "values ​​of democracy," administer a "court of history" over the "criminal predatory regime of the USSR." Gorby is the hero of this story. The scapegoats are former Soviet officers who complied with the order (as he believed) of the "legitimate government of the USSR." But it turned out - that's how it is ... So the independence of the Russian Federation - the "successor of the USSR" is built on such a foundation. Clear?
  19. Li17 19 January 2020 08: 23 New
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    I was there ..., brigade commander well done, a column stood ready for two days, refused without a written order. This is about the Judas of the labeled one, who "did not know," and his minions also did not want to know for the future! Well, about the guys, for some reason, the principle "the Russians don’t give up" is not seen in our government’s honor! And yet, he was surprised by the order, the barricades were beautifully arranged in Feng Shui, everything was smooth and tidy. The people do not rush and do not climb, hiss in the back “Occupantos!” Hissing, and you turn around figs understand! And the sympathizers from the locals directly said that we were late, it was necessary to restore order before!