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The Lithuanian court withdrew the lawsuit against Mikhail Gorbachev, filed because of the events of 1991 in Vilnius


Photo: Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Lithuania. January 11 – 13, 1990.

A Vilnius court has withdrawn a civil lawsuit against former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev filed by relatives of four victims of the events of January 13, 1991 in the Lithuanian capital, Delfi reports.

As explained by the representative of the court Aurimas Zhukauskas, the case was dismissed due to the death of Gorbachev. The transfer of responsibility for the claim is impossible since it was brought against a specific person. The decision of the court may be appealed within seven days.

The lawsuit against Mikhail Gorbachev was filed in 2022. In May, court documents were sent to the Russian Foreign Ministry to be handed over to the former president of the USSR. The applicants argued that in 1991 Gorbachev, as commander-in-chief of the USSR armed forces, controlled the army, but did not take adequate measures to prevent aggression in Lithuania and thus did not stop the international crime.

  • On the night of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius, during the storming of the TV tower by the Soviet military, which was guarded by supporters of the independence of Lithuania, 14 civilians were killed, as well as the lieutenant of the Alpha group. In the criminal case, which was considered by the Lithuanian prosecutor’s office in the wake of the storming of the TV tower, Gorbachev did not appear as a defendant. They wanted to call him to court several times as a witness, but he never showed up. Gorbachev claimed that he was unaware of the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius and learned about them only the following day from a report.
  • On August 30, 2022, Mikhail Gorbachev died in Moscow at the age of 91 after a long illness. He will be buried on September 3 at the Novodevichy cemetery. The farewell ceremony will take place from 12 noon in the Hall of Columns in the center of Moscow, where statesmen are seen off. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend his funeral. He said goodbye to Gorbachev alone in the Central Clinical Hospital of Moscow.