Freedom Defenders Day in Lithuania (13/01)

Defenders of Freedom Day in Lithuania is a day of remembrance for the victims of the tragic events of January 1991, when 14 people died in Vilnius and many were injured.

On March 11, 1990, the Supreme Council of Lithuania announced the restoration of the independence of the republic, but the Soviet leadership declared this decision to be contrary to the Constitution of the USSR. The conflict was gaining momentum, and in January 1991, unsanctioned protests began in Lithuania. As a result, special forces soldiers, including the Alpha group, were transferred to the republic.

They were able to occupy a number of strategic facilities, and on the night of January 13, 1991, a convoy of military equipment moved out of the military camp in Vilnius and headed for the city center. Until 2 am, television broadcasters broadcast what was happening in the country, then military equipment surrounded the television center building and the television tower.

It was here, during clashes between protesters and the military, that 14 people were killed and more than 600 were injured. Among the dead was one employee of the Alpha unit, he was shot in the back.

Currently, various solemn and commemorative events and actions are held in Lithuania on this day - processions and rallies, commemorative services and ceremonies, civics lessons in schools and exhibitions. And in the evening, holy masses are held in the Vilnius Archcathedral, in the churches and prayer houses of the religious communities of Lithuania.