I, Žilvinas Kaušylas, son of Albertas Kaušylas and a volunteer of the National Defense Department, began watch in the TV tower on January 11th of this year.
At about 11:00 on the evening of January 12th, 2 buses of militiamen arrived at the TV tower. The were dressed differently from the Lithuanian militia - their caps and some other details were Soviet, and they spoke Russian. We suspected that they were undercover soldiers, so we decided to call the Interior Ministry to see if they had sent us militiamen or not. The Interior Ministry said that no militia had been sent to the TV tower. At about 11:30 the newcomers tried to break into the tower through the windows of the administrative block, but they were pushed away by the guys from the National Defense Department. So this incident ended peacefully enough, without any bloodshed. At about 1:15 we heard firing from a tank. The attack started at about 1:40 when armored vehicles arrived at the TV tower, and from maybe 20 meters away, fired at the tower and shattered all the windows on the first floor. After 15 or 20 seconds we could already see paratroopers shooting in the lobby. The 10 of us who were guarding the central entrance and the central staircase which leads to the 2nd and 3rd floors began to defend ourselves with a water hose. Ignas Šimulionis, a volunteer who was killed, was holding the water hose, and when the soldiers began to shoot at us without any warning, he fell into the water current. I even managed to see how the paratroopers rushed over to him and hit him over the head with the butts of their guns.
Then we started off to the 2nd floor, where two emergency exits had been prepared. While running upstairs, we felt bullets buzzing all around us. On the 2nd floor we climbed over the barricade and ran to one of the emergency exits. We opened an exit cover and lowered the tube, but a tank immediately ap¬peared at that spot. Besides, the soldiers who had been chasing us began to shoot again. We didn't have time to use the other exit because the barricade immediately exploded and the paratroopers broke into the 2nd floor. We dis¬persed where we could. Five of us hid in a ventilation camera and stayed there for an hour, waiting for the situation to stabilize. Then we ran to the other room where the second emergency exit was. Two volunteers started to climb down through a window on a rope, but after a few minutes we heard firing. I don't know what happened to them. Three of us decided not to run away, but to wait until morning. We were found there around 9:30 in the morning. The paratroopers led us downstairs and handed us over to their officers. The officers immediately pushed us up against the wall and ordered us to stand 1 meter from it, our legs and hands apart. Then we had to lean against the wall. „lf you slump, we'll shoot." They explained that they still had to find out who we were. We stood like that for an hour, and then Jermalavičius arrived. Without going into details, he stated that we had shot their officer, and that we would face a cruel punish¬ment. Meanwhile, the officers clarified that one other guy and I had not served in the Soviet Army, and said that we would have to serve, and would be sent as far away as Vladivostok. They released the third guy without any delay, because he had been in the Soviet Army, and had even been in Afghanistan. When they let that guy go, they led us into a store-room without any windows, and left two guards to watch us.
At that moment, a huge massacre was taking place throughout the tower. We could hear windows shattering. We found out from the soldiers who were guarding us that they were taking everything that they could, including, of course, valuable equipment. Towards evening, an officer came who emphasized again that we would serve in the Soviet Army whether we liked it or not. He added that there were 15 of our people in the tower. Their fate remained unknown. In the evening, when we were taken to the bathroom, I saw a large puddle of blood by the door. And on the way back I met an officer who was totally drunk. According to the soldiers, the invaders had climbed up to the restaurant, stolen all of the alcohol, and decided to celebrate their victory.
They only released the two of us on Monday morning, and still threatened that we wouldn't achieve anything and that all the power already belonged to some “National Salvation Committee".
God, don't let anything like what happened on January 13th repeat itself. Let the soldiers understand their guilt, and let Lithuania be free.
Lithuania, 1991.01.13 : documents, testimonies, comments. - Vilnius : State Publishing Center, 1992, p. 150-152.