Border guard official assaulted on Russian train

  • 2004-05-13
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - A 24-year-old border guard official was found unconscious in a train car of the nightly Moscow-Kaliningrad connection at about 4 a.m. on May 11, the Vilnius chief police commissioner's office reported. Unidentified assailants hit the woman on the face and head and cut her on the wrist, and officials said there was a message reportedly written in blood on the wall of the car reading "Lithuania for Russians."

Having already completed her work, the border official was attacked when she left her colleagues for a short time, according to one top government official.
The woman was taken to a hospital upon discovery.
Scheduled to depart at 4 a.m., the train was delayed eight hours due to the incident. None of the 327 passengers traveling on the train, most of whom were Russian citizens, was detained.
Police have launched a pre-trial investigation into the incident.
Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis discussed the incident with Russian Ambassador to Lithuania Mikhail Boris Cepov. "We both admitted that this was a provocation against both Lithuania and Russia, and that law enforcement institutions must do their best to find those bandits and criminals," he said.
When asked if he intends to revise the existing organization of the guards, Valionis said that it would be improved if needed.
State border service chief Jurgis Jurgelis told the Baltic News Service that the border guards checking trains follow sufficient precautions.
"Trains are checked by two groups of officials from both sides, three to four border guards in each group. One of the group's officials is armed. Furthermore, border guards have radio transmitters," Jurgelis explained. He said that guards would be urged to be more cautious and stay with their group.
When asked if he would consider changing the activities of facilitated transit document diplomats on trains, Foreign Ministry FTD department director Ugnius Labutis said, "It's difficult to say what changes will be made. We may request that a Russian police officer be present with FTD officers, especially when FTD officers work at night or if they are female. It would then be possible to tell the police officer that such and such a citizen in such and such a car has such and such intentions. In the past Russian police have reacted very rapidly to such requests for help from FTD officers."
Former President Valdas Adamkus said that upon Lithuania's accession to NATO and the European Union, the country's government and law-enforcement institutions must combine efforts to prevent similar crimes or provocation in the future.