VILNIUS - Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte hopes Lithuania will avoid provocations today as Russia marks the Victory Day.
"I do hope we will avoid various provocations today, although under such circumstances, when Russia launched a brutal invasion of Ukraine, various things can be expected. The police are ready, it would be better to avoid this, but things are the way they are" the prime minister told reporters in Vilnius on Monday.
Speaking about gatherings at cemeteries of Soviet soldiers in Lithuania on May 9, the prime minister pointed out that Europe marked the day on Sunday, May 8, adding that the war for Lithuania, differently from the rest of Europe, did not end then.
Those commemorating the day together with Russia, "are cultivating an alternative history", the prime minister said.
"Europe marked the WWII Victory Day yesterday. We could just commemorate and remember victims yesterday because for us WW II did not end on May 8, 1945, but probably ended when the last Russian soldier left the country. There are people who have an alternative understanding of history and continue to cultivate that alternative understanding," Simonyte said.
On Monday in Lithuania, people traditionally visit the graves of Soviet soldiers to mark the Soviet Union's so-called victory in WWII.
This year, the day is commemorated without official events, and those who come to pay their respects are greeted by small protests and posters reminding of Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. Cemetery visitors are also not allowed to wear the usual symbols, like the St George's Ribbon, as they have recently been banned for public display in Lithuania.