Wednesday, 08 January 2014 21:32

Remembering January 13, 1991: Resources for the 23th Anniversary

Written by 

On January 13th, Lithuania will mark the 23th anniversary of the Day of the Defenders of Freedom.

On this day in 1991, unarmed Lithuania struggled for its right to be a free, independent and proud country. 14 people were killed, about 1000 were injured as the Soviet occupation army and the KGB attempted to overthrow the legitimate government of the country and to seize the Lithuanian national radio and television building, the TV tower and publishing houses. The people of Lithuania demonstrated their inner strength, they defeated the Soviet aggression and defended their freedom in the spirit of truth and love.

We will never forget that tragic day. The anniversary of January 13 is a day of history, emotion, and reflection for most Lithuanians wherever they live. Over the last twenty-plus-years, this day has also come to symbolize the resilience, kindness, and unity of the Lithuanian people.

To remember the tragic events, I’ve compiled a list of resources about January 13, 1991 which I encourage readers to share with others.

If you have any resources or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments, and I will update this list accordingly.


Media (Video/Audio/Photos)

The internet is full of videos and photos from and related to January 13, 1991. A search for “January 13, 1991, Lithuania ″ on YouTube returns about 6,500 results. Some of these videos may be useful — you can find news broadcasts from the day of the attacks, for example. Here are some media resources in English that might be especially useful:

The13th of January (YouTube): A documentary film which presents a unique material from the archives and shares the memories of witnesses. You can see this film bellow.

Soviet Crackdown on Baltic States (C-Span): Recorded the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus hearing, held three days after the crackdown in Vilnius, on January 16th, with participation of Stasys Lozoraitis (Jr), Charge d'Affaires of Lithuania to the US. At the hearing, Tom Lantos, Head of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus noted the similarities between the crackdown by the Soviet Union during the Persian Gulf crisis and the crackdown by Soviet troops in Hungary in 1956 during the Suez crisis.

Soviet Lithuania Crackdown (BBC World Service): A 9 min long radio program, featuring interviews with people who saw the Soviet crackdown with their own eyes.



The Price of Freedom (Lituanus) : An overview of the international reactions that occurred after the January 13th events.

Jan. 13, 1991 's the day that changed the world (The Baltic Times): An opinion piece looking at the importance of Lithuania’s role in the world history in 1990’s.

Soviet Tanks Roll in Lithuania; 11 Dead (The New York Times): An article that illustrates a typical reaction of major international media to the January events in Vilnius.

Lithuania's Mladić (The Economist): An article about how people wanted for ordering mass killings in Lithuania  try to evade responsibilities and how this causes diplomatic rows.

Lithuanian Independence – January 13, 1991 (Life as I know it): A blog post by Rasa Tautvydas, a Lithuanian-American who witnessed the events in Vilnius.


Related resources

The world’s response (The Seimas): Copies of official documents in form of statements and letters by leaders and politicians of Luxemburg, France, Iceland, Latvia, Denmark European Parliament and U.S.S.R.

A Chronicle of the Events of January 1991 and Later Months (The Seimas): A detail timeline of how the events evolved. 

The Medal of January 13 (Office of the President): A description of the medal to honor persons, citizens of Lithuania and foreign nationals, for outstanding performance in defending the freedom and independence of Lithuania in January - September 1991.


Read 27233 times


Login to post comments

#LTUworld /Join the conversation

If you want us to keep going, press LIKE!