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Lithuania Finishes Investigation Into 1991 Crackdown

Lithuania has completed an investigation into the deadly dispersal of pro-independence demonstrators in Vilnius by Soviet troops in 1991, one of the catalysts of the Soviet breakup.

The Lithuanian prosecutor-general's office said on November 13 that 69 citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, who were Soviet soldiers or officers at the time are suspected of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes.

It said that as most of the suspects are abroad, European warrants for their arrests have been issued, and that the case would be sent to court for trial sometime after May 12, 2015.

On January 13, 1991, fourteen unarmed activists were killed in clashes between Soviet troops and protesters, who came in central Vilnius to defend the government, which had declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

The Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991, and Lithuania joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Based on reporting by Delfi and Interfax