I had already begun vigil by the radio and television building at 6:30 a.m. on January 12. In the morning, a military vehicle drove by several times (one time it came with soldiers, and another time it came with just another officer). One of the men said: “They're checking their positions."
At 2:13 a.m. someone shouted: “They're coming!" I know exactly what time it was because at that moment I looked at my watch. We saw small lights moving towards us. Some of the people crowded by the intersection. Meanwhile, I stood across the street on the stairs of the building on the corner where there's a sign for “Lithuanian Radio". All the people standing on the stairs joined hands and stood close together, forming a human chain. Soon a column of tanks and armored vehicles began to close in on us. When I saw that terrible machinery moving along the side, I thought - they're scaring us. They'll see all the people and drive away. But this time they didn't just drive by. The column suddenly stopped. A personnel carrier stopped right in front of our stairs. Then I remem¬bered those military vehicles that I had seen earlier in the morning and the words: “They're checking their positions". From the way that they lined up, it seemed like it had been very precisely planned. The paratroopers quickly jumped from the vehicles, ran to the staircase, lined up, and let out a volley over our heads. The people stood as they had been standing. Bullets were humming over us, and something was falling on our heads. The men tried to calm us down: “Don't be afraid! They're shooting blanks!" However, looking at those guys from above (I was on the second to last step), they seemed really threatening, and I don't think they were joking by any means. Their eyes seemed callous. We had been entirely given over to fate. And they fired. Apparently, they thought that we would be scared, that we would run away in a panic. But, with bullets humming over our heads, we kept crouching down and straightening up again. Their shots didn't scare us. Then they began to attack us - they pushed people, and beat others with their guns. They moved their arms as such - left, right, forward, left, right, forward. And in this way they attacked step after step, be¬cause the people, especially the men, tried to prevent them from moving onward with only their bare hands and chests. Women began to scream: „My že liudi! Što vy delajete? My liudi!" („We're people! What are you doing? We're people!") But they didn't hear us, and apparently, didn't see us either. They attacked us so furiously that it was as if we were a whole army instead of unarmed people. From above I watched as they mercilessly pushed and beat the unarmed people, indifferent to whether they were men, women or children. They didn't care. They moved higher and higher. When they were maybe a step away from me, I jumped down from the step, and running a few meters, turned around to look. The paratroopers had already taken over our positions by the door, and had formed a line facing the people. In about the same place where I had been standing, there was a middle-aged man of average build. The paratroopers were holding both of his arms and were beating him - one was beating him in the back with a gun, another was clubbing him over the head, and a third was hitting him from the front. The man stood there, vulnerable and numb, and it seemed like he had reached the point where he didn't care what they did to him. It was a horrible sight. Someone shouted: “There's a person left! We have to save him!" People screamed and moaned. Ordnance and paratroopers fired. I began to run, hoping that I could weave my way through the barrier of buses, when I tripped on something and fell down. At that exact moment, something rang out next to me, and smoke and flames appeared. Most likely it was an explosive that they had thrown at the people.
The thing that I was the most amazed about that night was the fearlessness and courage of our people. They didn't disperse in a panic, as the paratroopers had probably hoped. They were constantly throwing explosives at the people, shoot¬ing guns, and firing sub-machine guns. You could see tracer bullets in the sky. The takeover of the building took 10-15 minutes, and at 4:30 a.m. the para¬troopers had already begun working inside. Over the loudspeaker they announced things like: “People, don't be afraid! We've come to protect you! We are defending the working people! We are overthrowing the bourgeois government. Go home, work, and raise your children!" Then they explained that: „The National Salvation Committee is taking power into their own hands!"
The people didn't disperse. They continued to urge us: “People, disperse, we don't want bloodshed." But blood was being shed. 1 saw four people carrying a person whose head was badly wounded (maybe it was the same person that they had been holding and beating earlier?). I saw a person whose head was obviously bleeding from the blow of a gun-butt. People were stunned. We were unarmed, and the human shield we had formed round the TV center building was just symbolic.
Lithuania, 1991.01.13 : documents, testimonies, comments. - Vilnius : State Publishing Center, 1992, p. 158-160.