Earlier I had never thought about how a person feels when the barrel of a machine-gun is aimed at him. Moreover, I never expected that my co-workers and I would ever find ourselves in such a situation. When the military vehicles began to rumble in the streets of the capital that night, most people thought it was just a futile show of power. Unfortunately...
We, a group of editors from „Draugystė", were preparing an issue for publishing at the Press House on January 11. We didn't know that we were working in vain - that the readers would never see that newspaper. In most of the offices the local radios were on, so we heard the disturbing information that the military forces had just (at about 11 a.m.) taken over the premises of the National Defense Department in Viršuliškės. That's just steps away from the Press House. Now tanks, light tanks, and military trucks filled with armed soldiers were moving towards us. A shrilling air-raid siren sounded in the Press House. People were running into the corridors and crowding by the windows.
I was in the printing department when I heard shots and windows breaking. A woman from the „Tiesa" editorial office phoned: „They've already taken the lower floors. They're coming up... have they gotten to you yet?"
Two women, short of breath, rushed into the room. They had been downstairs and had seen the soldiers' assault, how the paratroopers pushed and beat the people who were gathered at the entrance. They said some people were injured. One officer had fired his sub-machine gun into the crowd.
Then two paratroopers with automatic guns came running after them. They looked around, said something to a worker who was standing by the door, and hurried downstairs. Together with proof-reader L.Lisovska, I phoned the offices of our co-workers. No connection. Cautiously, we went downstairs to look for our colleagues. There was water in the corridors, and the stench of kerosene or petrol made it hard for us to breathe. On the second floor we saw some soldiers stopping a middle-aged man with a camera. They ordered him to take out the film and unrolled it themselves, without listening to the man's explanations that he hadn't taken any pictures there. They took the camera. Taking advantage of the fact that the soldiers were busy, we snuck towards our office. Our co-workers' doors were ajar, and some of the locks were broken. The telephones were broken and the wires were torn out, things were strewed about, and papers were lying on the floor. In our office - the same...
Suddenly we heard from behind:
„Stojat, ni s mesta! Vy ot kuda?" („Halt! Don't move! Where are you coming from?")
Soon we were thrown out into the street. I noticed that some of the journalists didn't have their coats or any personal belongings. I doubt whether they'll ever get them back. Ali of the material for Saturday's issue and some for later issues was left in the occupied Press House. But I suppose that after the events in the capital, this news isn't very urgent anymore.
...Once the new „masters" had finally settled into the Press House, the tanks still stood there with their guns pointed at the people. A large group of soldiers tried once more to break up the massive crowd of people standing by the entrance. They failed. Then a deafening explosion came from a gun, and a volley of bullets above the people's heads riddled the concrete wall. The tanks were turning around on the green lawn. The people's persistence was obviously starting to irritate the soldiers, so one of the tanks started chasing them.
A long line of cars was standing along Cosmonaut Prospect and traffic was paralyzed for a long time.
The Press House was taken over by force. we suffered humiliation, many of us lost our personal belongings, and all of the existing property was left in the editorial offices. V. Charin, the photographer for the newspaper „Kurjer Wilenski", didn't have time to take his camera, and years of photo-archives were left. But the takeover of the Press House pales next to the events that took place on the night of January 13. lt was only the beginning.
Lithuania, 1991.01.13 : documents, testimonies, comments. - Vilnius : State Publishing Center, 1992, p. 91-92.