Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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Lithuania’s partisans rise again

eoh8vzfswic_dqzkbruhplitjkgjc9qrjxgt_jnok0fhbygyd7md7rul-simktkvcbpurrms114The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, a civilian paramilitary force, is preparing for the worst as Putin threatens the security of the Baltic states in his attempts to create a new soviet union under his leadership.

Formed in 1914 but disbanded by the soviets in 1940 they have been re-formed since independence and seen their numbers grow, tripling since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to about 10,000 members including former servicemen. (See history here).

Many Lithuanians see the Ukrainian war (not to mention the annexation of Crimea) as just the start of Russia’s plan to recapture its near neighbours including the Baltic states. They are not alone. Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Moldova, all former Warsaw Pact states, also feel vulnerable at the creation of “Novorossiya”.

ca9468aa749cb3de8a728ea163ab5530Lithuania has reintroduced conscription and produced a booklet on what to do in the case of an invasion. It’s also warned NATO about the build-up of nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, the strip of land between Poland and Lithuania which Russia took from Germany.

Russia claims it has to do that to counter the threat from the NATO build-up in the region – battalions of 1,000 men, one each to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (where the British contingent is based).

Kaliningrad also gives Russia access to the Baltic Sea where it is said to have committed “military hooliganism” by harassing merchant shipping.

Lithuania is currently the only NATO country to provide weapons to Ukraine , because “The Ukrainians are basically fighting the Russian Army” and thinks NATO should do more.

As for the riflemen, although they will be heavily outnumbered, they are preparing for guerrilla warfare in the forests of Lithuania. They have just been allowed to keep their semi-automatic weapons and ammunition at home to be better prepared.

dsc00072Anyone visiting the Museum of Genocide in the old KGB HQ in Vilnius will see memorabilia from the past including information about the partisans – who fought a bloody campaign. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that again.

This story was widely reported in the Independent, the Daily Mail and the Times.


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Lithuanian Muslims………..a historical perspective

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

It may not be the kind of place you would expect to stumble upon a mosque, but Muslims have lived among the forests and lakes of Lithuania for more than 600 years – showing that tolerance reigned here in the Middle Ages, even when religious strife was rampant in other parts of Europe.

At first glance, the square, wooden building looks like thousands seen in villages all over the Baltic. Neat timber slats, wood-framed windows, a tin roof. But at the apex of the roof, instead of a point there is a small glass turret, topped with an onion dome of the kind you might see on a local church. Then, on top of the onion, stands a small crescent.

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This is the most European looking mosque you will ever come across.
If it looks completely at home in this northern European setting, that’s because a mosque has stood here, roughly…

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Corbyn, and how not to win friends and influence people (particularly the Baltic States)

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Lithuania’s Ambassador in London Asta Skaisgirytė has written an open letter to Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn over his negative stance on NATO enlargement, emphasizing that it is only the Western Alliance that can guarantee security of the Baltic states.

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In a comment in Britain’s left-leaning daily The Guardian, Skaisgirytė recalled the region’s history and warned about the Kremlin’s efforts to “menace its former victims”, as it remembers the Soviet era. Skaisgirytė said that Corbyn “seems so unaware of the past, present and future of imperialism on the European continent”. In her words, “Lithuania has in living memory experienced imperialism through occupation, linguistic and cultural oppression, the destruction of civil society and public institutions, rape, looting, deportation and mass murder”. “The perpetrators of these crimes have not been punished.

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Nor has Russia, the successor state to the Soviet Union, apologised or paid compensation. Instead it praises our oppressors as…

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