Former Soviet officer given life imprisonment for Medininkai massacre

  • 2011-05-12
  • TBT Staff

VILNIUS -- A Lithuanian court has sentenced Konstantin Nikulin, currently a Latvian citizen, to life imprisonment for his role in the 1991 Medininkai massacre.

Nikulin, a former member of an elite Soviet police squad known as Oman, was found guilty of killing seven Lithuanian borders guards and police officers on July 31, 1991.

"All those officers were killed only because they served at the checkpoint of the Republic of Lithuania. There were no other reasons for this execution," the Associated Press quoted judge Viktoras Dovidaitis as saying.

The Medininkai massacre was a result of Soviet aggression against border controls, mainly along the border with Belarus, that the Soviet Union deemed illegal. In total, about 60 officers were attacked and injured and 23 border posts were burned or destroyed, with the incident at Medininkai the most bloody.

Nikulin, formerly known as Konstantin Mikhailov, pled "not guilty" and is likely to appeal the ruling. He was also ordered to pay compensation of around $1 million.