VILNIUS – Nearly 700 Lithuanian border guards, police officers and public security officers on Tuesday attended a training to deter attacks of the so-called "little green men" near the country's borders.
Under the tactical training scenario worked out by instructions from Interior Ministry Eimutis Misiunas, special forces of a country hostile to Lithuania have illegally crossed the border and readied to take over one of the border checkpoints and the Salcininkai police station.
After the hostile forces were spotted, radio communication went dead in the border region.
Under the scenario, the intruders aimed to separate from Lithuania and declare and independent People's Republic of Salcininkai, which is a region in southeast Lithuania.
"There was a simulation of intrusion of the little green men into Lithuania's territory and they're getting off a train," Misiunas told journalists after the training.
"Little green men" was a term used to describe Russian troops who assisted annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014. The minister, however, did not confirm that the exercise was intended to deter Russian saboteurs.
Chiefs of the police, the State Border Guard Service and the Public Security Services were the only ones notified of the exercise, while ordinary officers and operators of the emergency center did not know this was a training.
The training simulated intrusion of about 30 individuals into Lithuania's territory. They successfully seized the Salcininkai police station, a dozen of police officers was "gunned down" during the attack.
The acting police chief said some local residents called the emergency number after noticing the simulated criminal action.
Misiunas, the interior minister, said the emergency call center did not provide any information about the incidents, which means that the people who spotted the "little green men" did not call 112.
Vilma Juozeviciute, a spokeswoman for the 112 call center, told that a number of calls had been received during the training, however, specialists did not notify other services, as the callers did not ask for help.
"Some were angry over not being able to drive somewhere. Others just inquired about what was going on," said Juozeviciute.