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Published: 15 february 2013 17:14

Russian Ambassador: Lithuania was incorporated into Soviet Union "rather peacefully"

Rusijos ambasadorius Lietuvoje Vladimiras Čchikvadzė
Karolio Kavolėlio / BFLnuotr. / Russian Ambassador Vladimir Chkhikvadze

Lithuania's incorporation into the Soviet Union happened rather peacefully, Russian Ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Chkhikvadze said in Vilnius on Friday. The ambassador attended an event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held to introduce the second volume of "The Soviet Union and Lithuania during World War II," a collection of historic documents compiled by Lithuanian and Russian historians.

"The published archival materials undeniably show that Soviet Lithuania existed. By the way, it is noted in the introductory article, with references to archival materials, that Lithuania's incorporation into the internal system of the Soviet Union happened rather peacefully," the Russian diplomat said.

"The documents, in my opinion, have great importance for the description and evaluation of a period of common history that is difficult for us all. To my mind, it's very important also because efforts have recently been made in historical literature to falsify the truth, to diminish the role of the Soviet Union in victory against Fascism," Chkhikvadze said.

The introductory article written by Česlovas Laurinavičius of the Lithuanian Institute of History says the period between August 1940 and August 1945 can be divided into four stages. The first stage, according to Laurinavičius, was between August 1940 and June 1941, characterised by stepped-up destruction of Lithuanian state institution and the country's incorporation into the Soviet Union's internal system.

"It is worth noting that this process started without any clear signs of resistance (apart from protests by Lithuanian diplomats accredited to foreign countries), and, unfortunately, this circumstance has so far been subjected to speculations of various kinds," Laurinavičius writes.

Later in the article, the historian also describes the fourth stage from 1944 until the end of 1945.

"Liberation from Nazism did not mean the restoration of statehood for Lithuania. A cruel Stalinist regime came into the country, which only heated up rising national resistance. The inertia of cruelties continued in Lithuania, a guerilla war was long and bloody," the article says.

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