Remembering today, three decades later, the tragic events in the capital of the then nominally Soviet Lithuania, in our country they speak of the meanness and cynicism of local nationalists, cowardice and betrayal of the then leadership of the USSR, even openly, indicating the specific names of the representatives behind the then criminal conspiracy U.S.A. What, in my opinion, has not received enough attention is the role of those days in the final dismantling of the Soviet Union that soon followed.
January 1991 "backfired" with its terrible August, and then with the shameful Belovezhskaya December ... How exactly? We will talk about this in detail.
Gorbachev's Baltic giveaways
Any attempts to view January 13, 1991, either as a certain set of fatal circumstances, or as a situation in which “something went wrong” due to incorrectly given or understood orders, is nothing more than an attempt to wrest that night from the global context of much larger and longer events. They are undertaken, of course, in order to divert attention from the main culprits, inspirers and organizers of these events. From those who made every effort to ensure that everything happened exactly this way and not otherwise. The clash, in which the main characters were servicemen of the army units brought into Vilnius and the soldiers of the KGB special forces of the USSR "Alpha" on the one hand, and nationalist militants on the other, was only the last act, the final of the tragedy. The plot and roles in it were painted in the Kremlin and the White House long before the shots sounded near the television center.
Let me state that everything that happened there was planned by Mikhail Gorbachev and his masters from the West in order to simulate the situation for the entire USSR. It was a test of strength, a test and a rehearsal. Why was it necessary for both sides involved in the conspiracy to destroy the Soviet Union? Gorbachev and his accomplices feared that the moment would come when the true meaning and goals of their criminal activities would finally "reach" those people in the Central Committee of the Party, the State Security Committee, the USSR Ministry of Defense who, due to their positions, have a real opportunity not to only to thwart all the plans of these scoundrels, but also to deal with them as they deserve. That is - to hang on the nearest lampposts ... They really wanted to exclude such an option in principle.
In turn, the United States feared that the collapse of the USSR, having begun, would lead to a new Civil War, in which, what good, the Reds would win again, who would restore order in the country - and all the work to destroy it would have to start anew. And in general, large-scale hostilities in a state with a huge nuclear potential, the Americans somehow did not smile at all. According to their idea, the Soviet Union was to die quickly, as bloodlessly as possible and as if "from natural causes." Blood and local wars were planned for later ... It was impossible to come up with a better testing ground for such a scenario than the Baltics. Long-standing and strong Russophobic-nationalist traditions, a considerable number of “forest brothers” and similar bastards who survived thanks to Khrushchev, most of whom signed a long time ago about cooperation with the CIA, SIS and other special services of the West ...
In addition, a significant role here was played by the fact that the inhabitants of the Baltic republics in material terms lived much better than many citizens of the same RSFSR or Central Asia. "If these" lead "to talk about" independence ", there will be no problems with the rest!" - obviously, the logic of our overseas "well-wishers" was just that. In accordance with it, they began to act - naturally, having secured the complete consent of Gorbachev and his clique. Since the spring of 1990, the experiment has started proudly - Lithuania (the first in the USSR) allows itself to declare the "restoration of independence". In principle, it was a turning point - after Moscow openly recognized such actions as "unconstitutional" (and they were exactly what they were!), The KGB was supposed to join the case, and Vytautas Landsbergis and the "Sayudis" headed by him smoothly and quickly move to continue their "national liberation activities" somewhere in the camps of Mordovia. The best case scenario.
Tellingly, in the hands of Mikhail Gorbachev, in addition to purely party instruments, there were also state ones - as the president of the Soviet Union, he not only had the full right, but was obliged to introduce his own direct rule on the territory of the brazen republic with all the ensuing consequences. However, nothing of the kind was done. The subsequent ridiculous series of exhortations, concessions and attempts to "reason" the "Natsiks" who were gaining more and more strength are called for some reason "the confrontation between the Center and Vilnius." It would be more correct to call it as it is - a disgrace. In April of that same 1990, the nationalists, who were striving for power, crossed the last line - they established the Department of Regional Protection. In fact, it is an illegal armed formation, the existence of which on the territory of the USSR, of course, was not allowed under any guise. Here it was already necessary to bring in troops and begin general arrests, and immediately. Not done ... But undertaken with the filing of Gorbachev "economic the blockade "of Lithuania allowed the local separatists to hike the prices of all products by three or five times, while claiming that Moscow was to blame for this.
Didn't Mikhail Sergeevich understand what he was doing? I understood, and how. Only this was exactly what he needed. Lithuania was systematically and consistently led to an explosion, to riots, to a confrontation between supporters and opponents of "independence". The second, by the way, at that time there were no more than the first. Gorbachev's “ultimatum” of January 10, 1991, in which he demanded “the restoration of constitutional order,” and the subsequent deployment of troops to Vilnius, was in fact nothing more than a match held to the fuse-cord that did not want to ignite by itself. If the would-be president really wanted to restore order in Lithuania, his actions would have been completely different and he would have taken them much earlier.
Alpha, who was betrayed
In the events of that fateful night, if something is surprising, it is that only one person became a victim of the betrayal of the country's top leadership, who sent KGB and military personnel to Vilnius - Lieutenant of "Alpha" Viktor Shatskikh, who was killed by those who took refuge in the upper floors of the TV tower by snipers. In fact, there should have been many more victims. However, the militants, who then fired from the Lithuanian side, had an order to shoot at the crowd - the "national revival" needed bloody "sacred sacrifices", and they provided them. The most remarkable thing is that exactly this version of events was presented (and even more than once) by a person who, in theory, should have firmly denied it - Andrius Butkevichus, at the time of the events we are talking about, he held the illegal "position" of the "Minister of Regional Protection ". He completely openly admitted that he gave the order to his bandits to hit exactly the crowd - aiming and to the death. From there, the victims with gunshot wounds. The soldiers did not have live ammunition in principle, just as there were no real shells from the crews who came to the TV center to "scare the crowd" of tanks. Alpha had them, but there was also a strict order: do not use weapons to kill under any circumstances. If this is not called "send for slaughter", then what to call it ?!
The worst thing is that those who opposed them knew perfectly well about blank cartridges in military stores and the ban on opening fire for "Alpha"! Where could such a "leak of information" come from, except from the very "top"? There is, however, another version. The chief of staff of the Vilnius garrison at that time was none other than the colonel of the Soviet army Aslan Maskhadov. This personality and its role in many, much bloodier and more terrible than January 13, 1991 events, is known to everyone. Based on this assumption that it was he who "leaked" data on the plans, movements and equipment of the forces trying to restore order in Vilnius, and, most importantly, their restrictions and prohibitions against nationalists, should be considered at least quite probable.
After everything that happened, Gorbachev, as usual, began to fool Vanka and lie recklessly: they say, he found out about what had happened only in the morning, almost later than everyone else, and before that - neither in sleep, nor in spirit ... This is it - the General Secretary , the President and the Supreme Commander in one person ?! However, this lie pales before his allegations that the Alpha fighters were allegedly “presented with an“ order to move ”signed by his name (but not by himself, of course!), Scribbled on some shabby piece of paper not only by hand, so also with a pencil! Then they immediately "torn to shreds" this, if I may say "document". Well, and the "alphas" disciplinedly went to "fill up" ... I wonder who Mikhail Sergeevich tried to make big idiots, rubbing, excuse me, such absolutely incomparable nonsense - his listeners or employees of the elite special forces of the KGB of the USSR? Yes, they, having seen such an "order" in front of them, would not have budged. Unless they would have laughed to their heart's content - in the presence of a good mood. When high-ranking government and military officials vied with each other to deny "authorship" in the Vilnius events or any relation to them at all, it was not a question of "fear" to appear before the "high court" of terribly formidable independent Lithuanians.
Did the late Dmitry Yazov really harm the fact that these comedians accused him of what he knew and "condemned" in absentia? Their hands are painfully short - they only have enough strength to grab retired lieutenants. No, the point here is different - the whole "operation to restore constitutional order in Lithuania" was originally a uniform comedy. True, which later grew into a tragedy with human casualties. And those who gave the appropriate orders "at the very top" knew perfectly well that this is how things would turn out.
Why was it necessary to occupy the House of Press, the Higher Party School, storm the television center, without arresting the self-styled "government" of Lithuania? Why weren't they caught, neutralized, in the end, destroyed every single Butkevichus militant? Why at least the firearms were not confiscated from them? It was necessary to start with this, and not with stupid riding on tanks in the evening Vilnius. And here, by the way, there is another question: why did the army column "backpedal", which was marching exactly where it was necessary to conduct the assault - to the parliament building? Was the "lateness" of the paratroopers to the TV center accidental, because of which the Alpha fighters had to take him literally with their bare hands, surrounded by a raging crowd?
However, these questions are, by and large, secondary. The main thing, perhaps, is different: how could the KGB allow the creation and functioning on the territory of one of the Soviet republics of not just an intelligence network of Americans, who immediately "planted" agents of influence on all "prominent fighters for independence" who then acted under the dictation from the United States, but assault squads militants led by an American sabotage specialist? Andrius Eytavičius (Endre Eyva) is a very real person, known to the secret services of a good half of the countries of the world, as a big dock in the field of both partisan and counter-partisan warfare. His participation in the war of Afghan spirits against our troops has been proven for certain, and the number of the highest military state awards that he was awarded in Lithuania convincingly testifies that the participation of this thug in the events of January 13 and, moreover, their leadership is no invention. There were also other "specialists" - in the relevant areas. Professor Jean Sharp is a master of psychological warfare and a recognized architect of "color revolutions", Rita Dapkute is a professional information warfare. There is no doubt that there were much more of them, both those who were in the states of the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department, and others. But why were they allowed to act completely openly and with impunity?
It won't take long, and the same "Alpha" will refuse to storm the White House during the Emergency Committee. It is impossible to condemn its commanders and fighters, who have already been betrayed once in Vilnius - no one wants to be either "cannon fodder" or, even more so, "a scapegoat". The army and the militia will act stupidly and uselessly ... And indeed the whole attempt to "restore constitutional order", only now, not on the scale of tiny Lithuania, but of the huge USSR, will look like the same stupid staging. And it will end in nothing. The power, which once demonstrated its weakness to the enemy, and to those who have to defend it, their own meanness and readiness to “surrender” their defenders for a pinch of tobacco, is doomed. Vilnius on January 13, 1991 was supposed to become the Soviet Tiananmen, and became the beginning of the end of the USSR.
In conclusion, I would like to clarify one detail. I call these events a tragedy solely because a real officer died at the hands of the nationalist rabble, and their final result was the destruction of a great country, my Motherland - the USSR. I see it this way and that way.