Lithuania: Ex-Soviet soldiers go on trial for alleged unlawful killings

A trial connected to one of the largest criminal cases in the history of independent Lithuania started at a Vilnius court on Wednesday. A total of 69 former members of the Soviet Army, from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, have been charged in connection with carrying out unlawful killings on January 13, 1991.
Many of the accused live abroad and will be tried in absentia, with the hearings expected to last until June 1. During the questioning, one of the defendants named Gennadi Ivanov said he suddenly felt unwell and the hearing was suspended at the request of his lawyer while his client was taken to hospital.
In January 1991 Soviet forces attempted to re-establish control over Lithuania after the country declared independence from the Soviet Union the previous March. An attack was launched on the Vilnius TV tower and the building of the Lithuanian radio and television during which 14 people died and around 700 were wounded.

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