Lithuanians to sue Gorbachev for Soviet crackdown in Vilnius

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Gorbachev’s visit to Lithuania in 1990 in an attempt to stop Lithuania’s declaration of independence which passed two months later

On behalf of the relatives of the four who died in the events of January 13, 1991 – Vidas Maciulevičius, Algimantas Petras Kavolukas, Virginijus Druskis, Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitis – a civil lawsuit was filed to bring former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev to justice, reported.

“The lawsuit was filed with the Vilnius City Court on the night of January 13. It was on this day thirty years ago that the USSR launched an assault on the Lithuanian Radio and Television Center and the Vilnius TV Tower,” Robertas Povilaitis, son of A.J. Povilaitis, said.

The civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of six people who lost their loved ones on 13 January 1991. With this lawsuit, the relatives are trying to make Gorbachev responsible for the events of January 13th.

The plaintiffs stated that they had collected evidence for the court, substantiating that the then president of the USSR Gorbachev, being the commander-in-chief of the USSR Armed Forces, controlled the army on January 11-13, 1991, but did not take steps to stop the aggression.

“It is very important that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity be held accountable,” lawyer Mindaugas Gyadeikis said.

In March 2018, Lithuania finished its biggest case, sentencing 67 people for war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in the 1991 crackdown.

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