Dmitry Yazov

The press service of the President of Russia

The Vilnius district court, so the verdict on the case of the January events of 1991 in Lithuania, ordered the accused in absentia buychea Minister of defence of the USSR Dmitry Yazov 10 years of imprisonment. This decision was read by the President of the ground jury, Ignore Macavity, quoted by TASS.

“The court decided to accept Dmitry Yazov guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years,” she said. The General Prosecutor’s office demanded life imprisonment Yazov.

In addition, the court found guilty the former KGB officer Mikhail Golovatova and former head of the Vilnius garrison of the Soviet army Vladimir Uskhopchik, reports “Interfax”. They were sentenced to 12 and 14 years imprisonment respectively.

Accusations of “by the Soviet aggression” presented to the 67 citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Most of them tried in absentia, appeared before the court only two citizens of the Russian Federation – detainee in Lithuania in 2014 officer Yuri are Stranded and living in Vilnius Gennady Ivanov, who in 1990 was the chief of service of missile and artillery weapons 107th motorized rifle division.

Ivanov was sentenced to four years of imprisonment, he may be at liberty until the sentence comes into force in respect of him, the court has appointed a measure of restraint in form of arrest. Grind the verdict will be announced after a break in the meeting. The remaining defendants Lithuania judge in absentia. To make this possible, specially adopted amendments to the laws.

The thing about events in Vilnius in 1991

The case of the January events in 1991, which is pending in court from the beginning of 2016, is the largest in the history of the judicial system of Lithuania – as the number of defendants and volume of documentation. The investigation was referred to the court of 700 volumes, the indictment takes up 13 volumes.

In January 1991, during the political power and street clashes in Vilnius, 14 people were killed. The Lithuanian side accuses them of the death of the Soviet military and political leadership of the USSR. However, the evidence base raises the defense of serious doubt. Other versions, including provocation, are swept aside as “hostile propaganda”.

94-year-old Yazov is charged with the creation in late 1990, an organized group of 160 military and political officials for the return of Lithuania into the USSR. According to the indictment, Yazov has created an organized group with the now deceased Soviet leaders – former Minister of internal Affairs of the USSR Boris Pugo, Chairman of the KGB Vladimir Kryuchkov, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and Politburo member of the Communist party Vladimir Seninim.
Prosecutors argued that Yazov had acted, knowing that in the time period between the two world wars, Lithuania was independent, and on 11 March 1990 declared the restoration of an independent state.

The indictment States that, involving the Communist party and creating a different organization, Yazov and his associates instructed other officials to “prepare a plan to seize power in Lithuania, draw up a list of strategically important objects subject to seizure, including state authorities and control objects, media, communications, communications”.

At the end of 2016 the district court of Vilnius has also sent a subpoena to the former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, demanding him to appear in court as a witness. Gorbachev himself stated that he had not received any notification and it is not going to testify in the case of the events of 26 years ago.
The justice Ministry also refused to serve the subpoena to Gorbachev: the state Duma adopted a statement in connection with the process, calling it a “politically motivated trial”, “punitive justice” and the attempt of falsification of history.

In February of this year the Vilnius district court sentenced him to a fine in the amount of EUR 2636,2 publisher Povilas Masilionis, which is personal money translated into Lithuanian and published a book of Russian journalist Galina Sapozhnikova “Who betrayed whom. How killed the USSR, and what happened to those who tried to save him” about the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the end, Masilionis was found guilty “in the public approval of the crimes of the USSR against the Republic of Lithuania and her inhabitants, denial and gross denigration of those crimes”.