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Lithuania Marks Soviet Crackdown Of Pro-Independence Rally

Lithuanians are marking the 25th anniversary of the deadly dispersal of pro-independence demonstrators in Vilnius by Soviet troops in 1991, one of the catalysts of the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Marches, gatherings, church services, and other events were held across the country on January 13 to mark Lithuania's Freedom Defenders' Day.

On January 13, 1991, at least 14 unarmed activists were killed in clashes between Soviet troops and protesters.

The rally was organized in support of the local government, which had declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

Lithuania has outstanding international arrest warrants for some 80 people who they believe were soldiers and officers of the Soviet Army involved in the clashes.

The Soviet Union broke up in December 1991, and Lithuania joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Based on reporting by Delfi and TASS