Events in Ukraine are testimony to our parents, grandparents experienced – Lithuanian PM

  • 2024-06-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - What we are witnessing now in Ukraine is a testimony to the same things that Lithuanians who survived deportations experienced, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Friday as Lithuania marks the Day of Mourning and Hope.

"Not without reason today is a day not only of mourning, but also of hope. It seems to me that these things fit together very nicely, despite what we are seeing in Ukraine today," the prime minister told journalists gathered at the Seimas on Friday.

"What we are seeing in Ukraine is a testimony to the same things that our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts saw, all those who witnessed that (...) manifestation of zero humanity in their lives", she pointed out, adding that one must have hope that "love and goodness will prevail".

"Just as it prevailed in Lithuania, it will prevail in Ukraine, and we have to do our best to make sure that it happens as soon as possible," Simonyte underlined.

For his part, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a post on X that Russia is using the same methods in Ukraine the Soviet Union used when it occupied Lithuania.

"You don't 'join' the Soviet Union. They invade you, send trains full of your people to prison camps, hold a fake referendum and pretend to save you from the Nazis by killing you. Sounds familiar? Moscow has been using the same script since the night of June 14th 1941," he claimed.

Lithuania marks the Day of Mourning and Hope on Friday to commemorate the Soviet deportations and honor their victims.

A solemn commemoration took place at the Seimas, and a minute of silence was observed in memory of the victims one minute before noon

At noon, national flags were raised in Independence Square in Vilnius, followed by a march of remembrance.

Commemoration ceremony are also being held held at the monuments to political prisoners and deportees in Vilnius where the names of deportees and political prisoners will be read out. Similar ceremonies are planned in other parts of the country.

In the afternoon, a remembrance ceremony will be held at Naujoji Vilnia railway station.

On June 14, 1941, mass arrests and deportations of Lithuanians to inner parts of the Soviet Union and Siberia began.

According to the data of the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, the Soviets deported, killed and imprisoned about 23,000 people during the first occupation. In total, about 130,000 people were deported from Lithuania by 1953, and another 156,000 Lithuanians were imprisoned.