Back To Iron Fists And Brazen Lies

It is Jan. 14, the morning after Soviet shock troops attacked Lithuanian demonstrators in Vilnius, killing 14 and wounding more than 230. Giant concrete blocks and iron barricades fortify the parliament building of Lithuania, the first republic to declare its independence from the Soviet Union. Gasoline fumes waft through the corridors where members of the fledgling Lithuanian Defense Force are preparing Molotov cocktails. Dozens of LDF guards, some carrying hunting rifles, hunker down for an expected attack by the Red Army. From his office, Lithuania's mild-mannered president, Vytautas Landsbergis, says tensely: "The aggression in Lithuania shows that the military forces hope for a coup d'etat across the Soviet Union."

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