OP-ED: If Lithuania Entered the War in Ukraine

*Update 1: 12.11.2014: For the record, I don’t actually believe Lithuania would go into Ukraine, in spite of strong political rhetoric, outside of the Lithuania-polish-ukrainian brigade. I was just ruminating. Article is now available in Lithuanian on Lrytas.lt and 15min.lt.

img_2532Vilnius, Lithuania – There has been a lot of strong rhetoric from the Lithuanian government in reference to the Ukrainian Crisis. The small country by the Baltic Sea has been one of Kyiv’s greatest allies in the EU and NATO. Their ambassador, at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic’s parade of captured Ukrainian Soldiers at bayonet-point, had said, “… instead of seeking the solution, Russia has been escalating the situation as  flow of weapons, equipment, mercenaries and now troops continue across Russia’s borders into the territory of Ukraine. Let us be clear; weapons don’t fall in the hands of rebels out of blue skies.”

Likewise, Lithuanian officials have made their anti-Russia stance completely clear.

What little experience I have with Lithuanians is with their most elite soldiers in Afghanistan – the Aitvaras, or their Special Forces (LITHSOF) – and I know that if they were to respond to the Ukrainian Crisis, it would change the landscape of the ground war completely.

The LITHSOF were the mechanized horsemen of the Apocalypse – where they rode, death would come after.

Instead of horses, they had four motorcycles, and wore a black and white kerchief over their nose and mouth with the outline of a skull. The Taliban feared them.

They had a blatant disregard for US regulations, such as the 10km/h speed limit around the base or the need to constantly wear helmets and reflective belts. If the rule was stupid, they didn’t follow it. Their sense of independence, and unit autonomy drove many an American commander insane.

Once, the Lithuanians were refueling a vehicle on base, and a young American sergeant approached to correct their lack of helmets and protective gear. The driver shrugged and claimed “No English!” and drove off (too fast), leaving the young sergeant standing in his dust.

With only dozens of LITHSOF in Afghanistan, they made their numbers count. They became the terror of the Taliban in Zabul Province. It was the single justification of their existence, and the basis of their legend. They were amazing fighters, vicious and joyful in the combat, living in a constant, controlled recklessness.

They criticized the American’s unwillingness to go outside the wire, and the accompanying safety regulations that degraded common sense.imgp0925

“You want to play safe in war? That is how you lose…” or more directly, “We are soldiers. Not children.”

They would go out on a dime if called upon. No fear. No excuses. They bent the rules if it helped the mission.

For all that viciousness, they were gracious hosts. They opened their compound to a few of us who would spend our evenings smoking cigars in their “cave” – a place that became a sanctuary for many of us.

They made us loose-leaf chamomile tea from fresh flowers or coffee from fresh grounds with fresh honey (imported from their home). Each newcomer has to try their sauna, which they were very proud of. Through my time, I often asked for permission to steal a cup of coffee or grab some of their tea, until they became frustrated and said, “Katyte, you don’t understand,” using the nickname they had picked out for me, which was the cute form of the word cat, “Our cave is your cave. Feel free, don’t hesitate. Stop asking!

Around the base, their commander was called Leonidas (but never to his face) which was a reference to his striking resemblance to the Spartan King, as played by Gerard Butler. The name also suited his reputation.

Leonidas once sat me down to teach me numbers, days, months in his native Lithuanian language – which, by the way, was not easy. Late at night, when I couldn’t sleep, he would sit with me in the common room and we would talk about life, about family, and he would try to impart his brotherly advice.

“We are a big family in this cave,” Leonidas said, “We spend more time with each other than even our real family. We fight, we get angry at each other, but we are family. And I think we are your family too.”

Leonidas once told me that Americans were too used to a comfortable life – in prosperity we had lost our perspective. We were a comfortable, fat, super power and losing our sight of the world.

Leonidas lamented the Russian invasion of Lithuania.

He explained to me that their society had been prosperous, comfortable and fat too. They gave up their liberties for continued comfort until the day they were invaded when they had no more of their liberty left to trade.

“The Russians were allowed to take over without firing one single shot,” he said.

It was shameful to him, and he spoke with great resolve, declaring that it would never happen again. The little country of Lithuania would never allow themselves to be taken cheaply again and, through the conviction of his dark eyes, I came to believe that Putin would have to pry Lithuania’s liberty from Leonidas’ cold, clenched fist.

The history lessons he gave me might be a simplistic and biased version of the events, but I took it as gospel. No one should doubt Leonidas.

His second in command, who was known as the mile-and-a-half killer for having sniped a Taliban from a great distance as he rode away on his motorcycle, had once simplified their known toughness by saying, “We are Lithuanian. That is all.”

I don’t have much experience with Lithuania – but what I know about their soldiers is that they are dedicated, deadly and fiercely loyal.

The Lithuanians that stood before me are not the same ones that had allowed themselves to be conquered. I am convinced that nothing but the complete Thermopalean massacre would allow that bit of history to repeat itself.

Still bearing the memory of the Soviet Union, I think that the insertion of LITHSOF into Ukraine would throw the tide of war in favor of Kyiv, or at the very least be the beginning of a psychological trauma not easy for Pro-Russian combatants to recover from. They would be the terror of Novorussiya.

I would bet money on a team of Aitvaras against a company of their enemies on most days.

Though for the Aitvaras, such a battle would just be considered a good day’s work.


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132 Comments

  1. Audrius says:

    Fabulous! Fantastic story. Now some of those guys.This is absolutely what they are. Proud of such Lithuanians. Thanks for reporting this.

    1. Alex says:

      Kaip nemalonu krūva įsigytų Kijeve apgavikai surengė Rusijos perversmo kauliukų Okrainu kai bjaurus istorijas apie dangiškojo gyvenimo Europos Sąjungoje, ir tai buvo pakankamai, kad jums šokinėti kaip kvailiai lėlių nacių šūkius, įžeidimas, dega, kankinimas, bombardavo savo artimuosius. 35 milijonų žmonių, gyvenančių Kijeve, Černigovo, Dnepropetrovskas, Zaporožė ir kitose srityse galėtų padaryti nieko su tūkstančiais Bastards perversmo ir tūkstančiai išlaisvintų recidyvistus, begėdiškai užgrobė valdžią Kijeve, kur teisėtas rinkimai buvo tik šeši mėnesiai?! Kur gyvena Ukrainoje, sąžiningas, normalus rusų, ukrainiečių, armėnų, žydų, gruzinai, totoriai, moldavų, baltarusių, latvių, estų, vokiečiai, lenkai, kurių seneliai buvo nužudyti koncentracijos stovyklose ir apkasų ne kartoti Aušvicą ir Babi Yar, Voluinės skerdynės! Kas atsitiko su jumis, jūs išvedė savo vaikus, nes yra savo praeities ir nukryžiavimo sunaikinimą dėl užjūrio proto labui.

  2. Ignas says:

    Dear Kat, nice text to read for me as a Lithuanian. (Too) highly romanticized, though. I only suggest that either Leonidas failed to mention, or you should have said that there was a partisan war against the Soviet occupation up until 1952. So the “not a single shot” account is only partialy true. There were thousands of brave men and women who gave their lives defending freedom of theirs and their country.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Indeed, highly romanticized and incredibly biased – after all, I was not conducting interviews with these guys. They were my friends, and I am sharing a memory.
      I will be doing a follow-up on Lithuania (and the greater Baltic States) current relationship with Russia, and how it’s being affected by the situation in Ukraine. That one will be more objective, and I will definitely take your comments into account. Thank you for your input!

    2. Edvinas says:

      They (partisans) were defending freedom which they didn’t had, they were fighting for country that wasn’t drawn in maps

    3. JonB says:

      Mielas iki 1957!

    4. Martynas says:

      Actually, till 1953

  3. Ignas says:

    Dear Kat, nice text to read for me as a Lithuanian. (Too) highly romanticized, though. I only suggest that either Leonidas failed to mention, or you should have said that there was a partisan war against the Soviet occupation up until 1952. So the “not a single shot” account is only partialy true. There were thousands of brave men and women who gave their lives defending freedom of theirs and their country.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Indeed, highly romanticized and incredibly biased – after all, I was not conducting interviews with these guys. They were my friends, and I am sharing a memory.
      I will be doing a follow-up on Lithuania (and the greater Baltic States) current relationship with Russia, and how it’s being affected by the situation in Ukraine. That one will be more objective, and I will definitely take your comments into account. Thank you for your input!

    2. Edvinas says:

      They (partisans) were defending freedom which they didn’t had, they were fighting for country that wasn’t drawn in maps

    3. JonB says:

      Mielas iki 1957!

    4. Martynas says:

      Actually, till 1953

  4. Sarunas says:

    Hi Kat,

    Theres a great documentary that aired recently called “The Invisible front” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2073679/. Great watch for further research.
    And I think you’re totally right regarding history repeating itself… http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140902/russian-threat-sees-rebirth-lithuania-paramilitary-group

  5. momo says:

    Interested what Lithuanians suffered after the Soviet occupation? Read Between Shades of Gray – and it is a very very very gentle story.

  6. momo says:

    Interested what Lithuanians suffered after the Soviet occupation? Read Between Shades of Gray – and it is a very very very gentle story.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I never thought I’d have to google translate my own article… ačiū

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I never thought I’d have to google translate my own article… ačiū

  7. Richie says:

    Hi Kat,

    Your story is interesting, indeed. As somebody mentioned, actually there was a partizan war against Soviet regime. And there is quite few movies telling about that. One of the movies called ”Nematomas Frontas” (”The Invisible Front”) which was released earlier this year. Unfortunately,as far as I know, it’s not available on DVD or anywhere online yet. Anyway, there is another few movies dedicated to partizans, and they are available online, and completely free to watch. So, if interested, You might click on one of the links below:

    1. Movie, called ”Vienui Vieni” (”Utterly Alone”). Released back in 2004:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rNJ2OWznSA

    2. Documentary movie, called ”Paskutinis” (”The Last One”). Released back in 2010:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeAfiIuMxQo

    3. Documentary movie, called ”Misko Broliai” (”The Forest Brothers”). Released back in 2004:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aKViX7xZOY

    Unfortunately, all movies which I mentioned, available in Lithuanian language only (the ones uploaded on Youtube, but I’m not sure if there is English subtitles or English versions of this movies, somewhere on the Web). Other than that, there is a lot of interesting information, including movies about Lithuanian resistance against Soviet regime, and some of them nothing to do about partizans, as some of them about Lithuanian political prisoners in Siberia, etc.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Richie,

      Thank you for the information and the resources.

      As mentioned in the article, all I knew of Lithuania, I learned from them (minus one overnight layover in Vilnius, when I managed to actually write this article) so I am coming from a point of complete ignorance – tabula rasa. I shall look into the resources you provided, and see if I can figure out a translation. If not, other commenters and emails have given me a wealth of information that are in english for me to begin perusing.

      I am grateful for your time, and for the additional resources.

  8. Richie says:

    Hi Kat,

    Your story is interesting, indeed. As somebody mentioned, actually there was a partizan war against Soviet regime. And there is quite few movies telling about that. One of the movies called ”Nematomas Frontas” (”The Invisible Front”) which was released earlier this year. Unfortunately,as far as I know, it’s not available on DVD or anywhere online yet. Anyway, there is another few movies dedicated to partizans, and they are available online, and completely free to watch. So, if interested, You might click on one of the links below:

    1. Movie, called ”Vienui Vieni” (”Utterly Alone”). Released back in 2004:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rNJ2OWznSA

    2. Documentary movie, called ”Paskutinis” (”The Last One”). Released back in 2010:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeAfiIuMxQo

    3. Documentary movie, called ”Misko Broliai” (”The Forest Brothers”). Released back in 2004:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aKViX7xZOY

    Unfortunately, all movies which I mentioned, available in Lithuanian language only (the ones uploaded on Youtube, but I’m not sure if there is English subtitles or English versions of this movies, somewhere on the Web). Other than that, there is a lot of interesting information, including movies about Lithuanian resistance against Soviet regime, and some of them nothing to do about partizans, as some of them about Lithuanian political prisoners in Siberia, etc.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Richie,

      Thank you for the information and the resources.

      As mentioned in the article, all I knew of Lithuania, I learned from them (minus one overnight layover in Vilnius, when I managed to actually write this article) so I am coming from a point of complete ignorance – tabula rasa. I shall look into the resources you provided, and see if I can figure out a translation. If not, other commenters and emails have given me a wealth of information that are in english for me to begin perusing.

      I am grateful for your time, and for the additional resources.

  9. Erzvilkai says:

    :))) It is almost the same your article translated to Lithuanian with just few additional sentences about you.

  10. Erzvilkai says:

    :))) It is almost the same your article translated to Lithuanian with just few additional sentences about you.

  11. Erzvilkai says:

    Actually the newest one “Invisible front” for sure will be with English subtitles. Even in Lithuania it was with English subtitles and there is enough English language in this documentary. Now it’s in States – http://en.delfi.lt/lithuania/culture/lithuanian-partisan-movie-opens-to-positive-reviews-in-the-us.d?id=66344460

  12. Erzvilkai says:

    Actually the newest one “Invisible front” for sure will be with English subtitles. Even in Lithuania it was with English subtitles and there is enough English language in this documentary. Now it’s in States – http://en.delfi.lt/lithuania/culture/lithuanian-partisan-movie-opens-to-positive-reviews-in-the-us.d?id=66344460

  13. Povilas Grachauskas says:

    Hello Kat,

    A very nice article to read about our mysterious Special Forces unit. This unit is so top secret that even in Lithuania it’s not very well known.

    Speaking about Lithuanian resistance, if you’re going to do an article on that, I would love to give you some kind of information, because my grandmothers family was deported to Syberia and one of the grandmother’s brothers ran away and joined armed resistance unit in Aukštaitija county. The unit was called Geležinis Vilkas or ” Iron Wolf ” and my grandmother’s brother was codenamed Šarūnas. Resistance didin’t end well for this unit, because they had to blow themselves up in a bunker, when their position was given away in 1951 by a neighbour who was loyal to Soviets and their NKVD apparatus. Sad fact was that resistance fighters or Miško broliai “forest brothers” usually had to blow themselves up with a grenade next to their heads, because they didin’t want their bodies to be recognized by their families, because that would lead to giving you’re self away, that the member of your family was a resistance fighter when the dead bodies were usually gathered up and thrown on the town square of random Lithuanian towns and little villages.

    So if I might help you with something, hit me up, I would be glad to join.

    P.S. sorry if my English is hard to understand.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Povilas,

      This is incredible information. If you don’t mind, I’d like to send you a private message on the email you provided and discuss this further. Also, don’t apologize for your English – it was perfectly understandable! Lithuanian is a difficult language, and I never even came close to understanding it.

      Thank you ahead of time.

      1. Povilas Grachauskas says:

        Kat,

        Looking forward to your message!

        BR

  14. Povilas Grachauskas says:

    Hello Kat,

    A very nice article to read about our mysterious Special Forces unit. This unit is so top secret that even in Lithuania it’s not very well known.

    Speaking about Lithuanian resistance, if you’re going to do an article on that, I would love to give you some kind of information, because my grandmothers family was deported to Syberia and one of the grandmother’s brothers ran away and joined armed resistance unit in Aukštaitija county. The unit was called Geležinis Vilkas or ” Iron Wolf ” and my grandmother’s brother was codenamed Šarūnas. Resistance didin’t end well for this unit, because they had to blow themselves up in a bunker, when their position was given away in 1951 by a neighbour who was loyal to Soviets and their NKVD apparatus. Sad fact was that resistance fighters or Miško broliai “forest brothers” usually had to blow themselves up with a grenade next to their heads, because they didin’t want their bodies to be recognized by their families, because that would lead to giving you’re self away, that the member of your family was a resistance fighter when the dead bodies were usually gathered up and thrown on the town square of random Lithuanian towns and little villages.

    So if I might help you with something, hit me up, I would be glad to join.

    P.S. sorry if my English is hard to understand.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Povilas,

      This is incredible information. If you don’t mind, I’d like to send you a private message on the email you provided and discuss this further. Also, don’t apologize for your English – it was perfectly understandable! Lithuanian is a difficult language, and I never even came close to understanding it.

      Thank you ahead of time.

      1. Povilas Grachauskas says:

        Kat,

        Looking forward to your message!

        BR

  15. Agnius says:

    Four motorcycles or four-wheel motorcycles ?

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Four motorcycles. Though they had four-wheeled vehicles as well.

  16. Agnius says:

    Four motorcycles or four-wheel motorcycles ?

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Four motorcycles. Though they had four-wheeled vehicles as well.

  17. Aurimas says:

    I served in VDKAJB. Serving my my most amazing time there. And at this moment im still involved in a some kind of war (mostly games) But what Aitvaras do i think most of true Lithuanian men will do if we need to defend our country. And if we need to help some one outside our country sides we will perform for same quality as for our country. We don’t fear Putin. We against any aggression in showing the power. Don`t touch us or our friends and you will be safe

  18. Aurimas says:

    I served in VDKAJB. Serving my my most amazing time there. And at this moment im still involved in a some kind of war (mostly games) But what Aitvaras do i think most of true Lithuanian men will do if we need to defend our country. And if we need to help some one outside our country sides we will perform for same quality as for our country. We don’t fear Putin. We against any aggression in showing the power. Don`t touch us or our friends and you will be safe

  19. Erzvilkai says:

    C’mon guys, stop posting nonsenses, ’cause it sounds like we’re going to conquer whole the world. 🙂
    It’s really good and heart flattering article, but don’t forget that all the secret and special forces usually don’t follow by the regular army rules. They are usually allowed not to shave heads and beards, or look like cave men, because they came there just for one reason – to do their really hard job (not to play toy soldiers).

  20. Erzvilkai says:

    C’mon guys, stop posting nonsenses, ’cause it sounds like we’re going to conquer whole the world. 🙂
    It’s really good and heart flattering article, but don’t forget that all the secret and special forces usually don’t follow by the regular army rules. They are usually allowed not to shave heads and beards, or look like cave men, because they came there just for one reason – to do their really hard job (not to play toy soldiers).

  21. Kat Argo says:

    On the subject of “The Invisible Front”, it may be awhile until I get to see it. It premiers in my hometown on the 21st of November, at which point, I will not be back in the US yet. I will have to wait until it is out of theaters. I’ll keep up with it’s progress and watch it once it’s available.

    Thanks again.

  22. Kat Argo says:

    On the subject of “The Invisible Front”, it may be awhile until I get to see it. It premiers in my hometown on the 21st of November, at which point, I will not be back in the US yet. I will have to wait until it is out of theaters. I’ll keep up with it’s progress and watch it once it’s available.

    Thanks again.

  23. DEV says:

    Most of military proficient people knows that “Aitvaras”, “LITHSOF” – without any doubts are highly professional but in comparison with who? With Talibs?
    The Horseshit about “If…Ukraine” is just totally sounds pathetic. Main thing is why “would be” if they already are in and unrevelead results with the number of “20 894” shows that some Lithuanian citizens already tried their luck unsuccessfuly

    Total losses in the Ukrainian troops in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas, Lugansk, Kharkov, Odessa, etc.) From April 3 – present to Novermber 2014: 20 894

    11 590 – Ukranian military
    4 192 -Servicemen of Ministry of Internal Affairs & National Guard
    3 282 – Right Sector
    1779 – other categories of armed forces of Ukraine
    630 – Polish PMC «ASBS Othago», American PMCs Asademi and her “daughter» Greystone Limited PMCs, Canada, Germany, UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Czech Republic, Finland, African and Arab et al. countries
    379 – SBU Ukraine(ex-KGB)
    243 – Servicemen of State Border Service of Ukraine
    88 – CIA, FBI, DIA US Special Forces

    Source – FSB:
    http://www.fssb.su/press-center/press-center-info/947-v-nuland-zam-gossekretarya-gosdepartamenta-ssha-dala-licenziyu-na-ubiystva-ukraincev-o.html

    1. Norton says:

      That source website looks dodgy as hell. And being and FSSB website is very likely to be biased. I mean just look around, they’re celebrating the October revolution and Dzerzhinsky. Every third-party source that I can find puts the total casualties of the conflict (from both sides) at around 4000-5000. With a bit more than half of it – Ukrainian.

      And, don’t take this the wrong way, but “88 – CIA, FBI, DIA US Special Forces” is pulled from thin air. Find me any source secondary source confirming this and I’ll buy you a beer.

      Both sides are misrepresenting what’s happening in the region, putting on a favorable spin, and it’s difficult to find a grain of trustworthy information. So please don’t just go around quoting these random numbers.

    2. Kat Argo says:

      I can tell you that none of this jives with what I physically saw, or what any third party (non-Ukrainian) saw in Donetsk (where most of us were located). The only foreigners I found were a smattering of foreign journalists – and several Chechnyans, South Ossetians on the pro-Russian side. There are Foreign fighters (I think the French and Serbians have the most press coverage) on both sides of the conflict – but no where near the numbers indicated there since many of them aren’t dead – to include one American casualty who was once a US Army Officer. There weren’t even any rumors of Lithuanians being present while I was there.

      While I do believe that current estimates of 4,000-5,000 killed might be lower than the actual death toll, as I am sure Ukraine underestimated the casualties on their own side, I doubt that the disparity is as large as indicated.

      However, I will take your feedback into account and will later try to find if it is possible to find corroborating information on these numbers. Thank you for your comment, and differing point of view.

      1. lee says:

        Hi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URCKwBV3Uc4&index=7&list=UUfKbMx97IbcZ8F2U3CTtgCw guy in video is from czech republic,its in russian language,but if you float more through its possible to find some with english subtitles.he(czeck fighter) says, in newspapers is “official” info about reality out there.ordinary people fights for their land.and i am opposite to war and other brainwash

      2. Saulius says:

        Don’t waste your time trying to understand where did those numbers came from. This is an example of Russian troll. They are paid to write such “information” to spread their truth. A lot of them are employed to write Russia, Putin and pro-Russian rebels praising comments.
        There are lots of them in Lithuanian media comments sections hiding their IPs and writing how bad USA, NATO and EU are and respectively how great of a leader Putin is (his politics regarding Ukraine too). You can find lots of them commenting on Yahoo and other American sites too. They will not discuss with you, just leave a comment providing you with information taken from a source you’ve never seen before or just bad mouths everything related to NATO and EU. Their goal is to make it look like there are a lot them and to make their nonsense and propaganda the real truth.
        You can find loads of info about such trolls if you are interested.

        1. Kat Argo says:

          I have encountered them on twitter, Saulius, but never on my blog before.

          1. Saulius says:

            Your article was posted on few Lithuanian news portals, that is how they found a way to your blog. Expect them to stay here as long as you will post something related to Ukraine or Russia’s “enemies”. Have patience, Kat. 🙂

  24. DEV says:

    Most of military proficient people knows that “Aitvaras”, “LITHSOF” – without any doubts are highly professional but in comparison with who? With Talibs?
    The Horseshit about “If…Ukraine” is just totally sounds pathetic. Main thing is why “would be” if they already are in and unrevelead results with the number of “20 894” shows that some Lithuanian citizens already tried their luck unsuccessfuly

    Total losses in the Ukrainian troops in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas, Lugansk, Kharkov, Odessa, etc.) From April 3 – present to Novermber 2014: 20 894

    11 590 – Ukranian military
    4 192 -Servicemen of Ministry of Internal Affairs & National Guard
    3 282 – Right Sector
    1779 – other categories of armed forces of Ukraine
    630 – Polish PMC «ASBS Othago», American PMCs Asademi and her “daughter» Greystone Limited PMCs, Canada, Germany, UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Czech Republic, Finland, African and Arab et al. countries
    379 – SBU Ukraine(ex-KGB)
    243 – Servicemen of State Border Service of Ukraine
    88 – CIA, FBI, DIA US Special Forces

    Source – FSB:
    http://www.fssb.su/press-center/press-center-info/947-v-nuland-zam-gossekretarya-gosdepartamenta-ssha-dala-licenziyu-na-ubiystva-ukraincev-o.html

    1. Norton says:

      That source website looks dodgy as hell. And being and FSSB website is very likely to be biased. I mean just look around, they’re celebrating the October revolution and Dzerzhinsky. Every third-party source that I can find puts the total casualties of the conflict (from both sides) at around 4000-5000. With a bit more than half of it – Ukrainian.

      And, don’t take this the wrong way, but “88 – CIA, FBI, DIA US Special Forces” is pulled from thin air. Find me any source secondary source confirming this and I’ll buy you a beer.

      Both sides are misrepresenting what’s happening in the region, putting on a favorable spin, and it’s difficult to find a grain of trustworthy information. So please don’t just go around quoting these random numbers.

    2. Kat Argo says:

      I can tell you that none of this jives with what I physically saw, or what any third party (non-Ukrainian) saw in Donetsk (where most of us were located). The only foreigners I found were a smattering of foreign journalists – and several Chechnyans, South Ossetians on the pro-Russian side. There are Foreign fighters (I think the French and Serbians have the most press coverage) on both sides of the conflict – but no where near the numbers indicated there since many of them aren’t dead – to include one American casualty who was once a US Army Officer. There weren’t even any rumors of Lithuanians being present while I was there.

      While I do believe that current estimates of 4,000-5,000 killed might be lower than the actual death toll, as I am sure Ukraine underestimated the casualties on their own side, I doubt that the disparity is as large as indicated.

      However, I will take your feedback into account and will later try to find if it is possible to find corroborating information on these numbers. Thank you for your comment, and differing point of view.

      1. lee says:

        Hi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URCKwBV3Uc4&index=7&list=UUfKbMx97IbcZ8F2U3CTtgCw guy in video is from czech republic,its in russian language,but if you float more through its possible to find some with english subtitles.he(czeck fighter) says, in newspapers is “official” info about reality out there.ordinary people fights for their land.and i am opposite to war and other brainwash

      2. Saulius says:

        Don’t waste your time trying to understand where did those numbers came from. This is an example of Russian troll. They are paid to write such “information” to spread their truth. A lot of them are employed to write Russia, Putin and pro-Russian rebels praising comments.
        There are lots of them in Lithuanian media comments sections hiding their IPs and writing how bad USA, NATO and EU are and respectively how great of a leader Putin is (his politics regarding Ukraine too). You can find lots of them commenting on Yahoo and other American sites too. They will not discuss with you, just leave a comment providing you with information taken from a source you’ve never seen before or just bad mouths everything related to NATO and EU. Their goal is to make it look like there are a lot them and to make their nonsense and propaganda the real truth.
        You can find loads of info about such trolls if you are interested.

        1. Kat Argo says:

          I have encountered them on twitter, Saulius, but never on my blog before.

          1. Saulius says:

            Your article was posted on few Lithuanian news portals, that is how they found a way to your blog. Expect them to stay here as long as you will post something related to Ukraine or Russia’s “enemies”. Have patience, Kat. 🙂

  25. Gintare says:

    Dear Kat Argo,
    What a great article. We, the Lithuanians, are all very proud of our elite LITSOF. As of the rest of our motivated military. One for all and all for one!
    Looking forward to reading more of your insights and upcoming stories. Thank you again.

    Best of luck.

  26. Gintare says:

    Dear Kat Argo,
    What a great article. We, the Lithuanians, are all very proud of our elite LITSOF. As of the rest of our motivated military. One for all and all for one!
    Looking forward to reading more of your insights and upcoming stories. Thank you again.

    Best of luck.

  27. Lukas says:

    Dear Kat,
    Nice text to read for me as Lithuanian Soldier. I appreciate all you’re effort. Thanks and I’m glad that someone still care’s 🙂

  28. Lukas says:

    Dear Kat,
    Nice text to read for me as Lithuanian Soldier. I appreciate all you’re effort. Thanks and I’m glad that someone still care’s 🙂

  29. Martynas Teresas says:

    Dear Kat,
    thank you for the wonderful article. As a Lithuanian I really enjoyed reading it. I my self work as historian in Panevezys Local Lore Museum and the period I work with is 1941 – 1953, so that includes the first soviet occupation, the Nazi occupation, second soviet occupation and the armed resistance that followed, till the death of Stalin. So if you will see the need for any information, feel free to mail me and I’ll help out how ever I can.

  30. Martynas Teresas says:

    Dear Kat,
    thank you for the wonderful article. As a Lithuanian I really enjoyed reading it. I my self work as historian in Panevezys Local Lore Museum and the period I work with is 1941 – 1953, so that includes the first soviet occupation, the Nazi occupation, second soviet occupation and the armed resistance that followed, till the death of Stalin. So if you will see the need for any information, feel free to mail me and I’ll help out how ever I can.

  31. Anthony says:

    Curious to know your thoughts on how far a person is allowed ‘bend’ the rules before becoming a criminal? In my experience we are all able to justify our own actions and excuse our own excesses which is the reason we are where we are.
    As an outsider looking in I would like to hear a ‘reasonable ‘ explanation as to why it is alright for one group to arrange the overthrow of a government they don’t like but then it’s not alright for another group to do the same to them??

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I apologize, I’m not one for reading between the lines. You’ll have to get more specific if you want anything resembling a real answer from me. After all, justification rests in situation – and my opinions on Ukraine are quite long.

  32. Anthony says:

    Curious to know your thoughts on how far a person is allowed ‘bend’ the rules before becoming a criminal? In my experience we are all able to justify our own actions and excuse our own excesses which is the reason we are where we are.
    As an outsider looking in I would like to hear a ‘reasonable ‘ explanation as to why it is alright for one group to arrange the overthrow of a government they don’t like but then it’s not alright for another group to do the same to them??

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I apologize, I’m not one for reading between the lines. You’ll have to get more specific if you want anything resembling a real answer from me. After all, justification rests in situation – and my opinions on Ukraine are quite long.

  33. Roobit says:

    Lithuanians also fought on behalf of the Third Reich 70 years ago, today they serve the Fourth Reich, which is capital is Washington, DC, the Fourth Reich is going to end like its predecessors. As far as the ethnostatelet of Lithuania is concerned, it will just be eliminated off the face of the earth.

    1. Martynas Teresas says:

      You do know, that Lithuania is the only country where Nazi regime failed to form a SS legion? There was one in Latvia, one in Estonia, three legions formed from russians, but Lithuania didn’t have a Lithuanian Waffen SS legion?

      1. Marius Gelezinis says:

        Of course, because they were too busy killing jews throghout 1941-1944. No time for SS (and that’s too dangerous, btw). However, as much as 50000 served in wehrmacht, but even then their main role was a auxiliary support for security (counter-partisan) operations. No frontline. It’s funny, how many of Lithuanians are so proud of their own partisan resistance, yet, killing other partisans is justified. Tells alot about this nation.

  34. Roobit says:

    Lithuanians also fought on behalf of the Third Reich 70 years ago, today they serve the Fourth Reich, which is capital is Washington, DC, the Fourth Reich is going to end like its predecessors. As far as the ethnostatelet of Lithuania is concerned, it will just be eliminated off the face of the earth.

    1. Martynas Teresas says:

      You do know, that Lithuania is the only country where Nazi regime failed to form a SS legion? There was one in Latvia, one in Estonia, three legions formed from russians, but Lithuania didn’t have a Lithuanian Waffen SS legion?

      1. Marius Gelezinis says:

        Of course, because they were too busy killing jews throghout 1941-1944. No time for SS (and that’s too dangerous, btw). However, as much as 50000 served in wehrmacht, but even then their main role was a auxiliary support for security (counter-partisan) operations. No frontline. It’s funny, how many of Lithuanians are so proud of their own partisan resistance, yet, killing other partisans is justified. Tells alot about this nation.

  35. KIYV says:

    Kat,

    If you didn’t heard anything about Lithuanians while you was on the ground, did you heard about Canadian, German, British, Estonian, Italian, Swedish, Turkish, Czechsc, Finnish, African or Arab? Still not? But they were in Donbass and some of them still here.

    DEAR FAGGOT SAULIUS,
    WE DON’T NEED HERE IN UKRAINE ANY INVOLVEMENT OF USA, NATO, EU AND ESPECIALLY LILIPUTIAN LITHUANIA. WE DON’T NEED WANT TO BE ONE MORE US COLONY LIKE YOU AND BARK LIKE DOG ON THOSE ON WHOSE POINTED AMERICAN MASTER. WE DON’T NEED ANY OF YOUR SUPPORT AS WELL AS ANY SOLIDARITY BECAUSE NOBODY OF YOU ARE SINCERELY WITH US OR CARE ABOUT UKRAINIANS OR UKRAINE. YOU ARE JUST PRETENDING THAT YOU ARE WITH US BECAUSE YOU ARE AGAINST RUSSIA WHILE WE ARE NOT. WE ARE AGAINST INJUSTICE. WE HAD ONE GROUP OF THIEVES RULING THE COUNTRY AND IT WAS CHANGED WITH THE ANOTHER GROUP OF THIEVES WHO ARE JUST DESTROYED AND DIVIDED WHOLE COUNTRY AND NATION WITH THOUSAND OF DEATHS.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Afghan, yes. Cuban, yes. Even an American. As for the others, I never saw them myself, so I can’t speak to it.

      As for Saulius – you seem to have read a lot into his comment. A bit of a disproportionate response, don’t you think?

      1. Alex says:

        Kaip nemalonu krūva įsigytų Kijeve apgavikai surengė Rusijos perversmo kauliukų Okrainu kai bjaurus istorijas apie dangiškojo gyvenimo Europos Sąjungoje, ir tai buvo pakankamai, kad jums šokinėti kaip kvailiai lėlių nacių šūkius, įžeidimas, dega, kankinimas, bombardavo savo artimuosius. 35 milijonų žmonių, gyvenančių Kijeve, Černigovo, Dnepropetrovskas, Zaporožė ir kitose srityse galėtų padaryti nieko su tūkstančiais Bastards perversmo ir tūkstančiai išlaisvintų recidyvistus, begėdiškai užgrobė valdžią Kijeve, kur teisėtas rinkimai buvo tik šeši mėnesiai?! Kur gyvena Ukrainoje, sąžiningas, normalus rusų, ukrainiečių, armėnų, žydų, gruzinai, totoriai, moldavų, baltarusių, latvių, estų, vokiečiai, lenkai, kurių seneliai buvo nužudyti koncentracijos stovyklose ir apkasų ne kartoti Aušvicą ir Babi Yar, Voluinės skerdynės! Kas atsitiko su jumis, jūs išvedė savo vaikus, nes yra savo praeities ir nukryžiavimo sunaikinimą dėl užjūrio proto labui.

    2. Saulius says:

      Writing in CAPS and calling names make you a tough boy! Nevertheless, what in hell are you talking about? Never did I mention anything you have written here and never did I say that I represent the opinion of the whole nation.

  36. KIYV says:

    Kat,

    If you didn’t heard anything about Lithuanians while you was on the ground, did you heard about Canadian, German, British, Estonian, Italian, Swedish, Turkish, Czechsc, Finnish, African or Arab? Still not? But they were in Donbass and some of them still here.

    DEAR FAGGOT SAULIUS,
    WE DON’T NEED HERE IN UKRAINE ANY INVOLVEMENT OF USA, NATO, EU AND ESPECIALLY LILIPUTIAN LITHUANIA. WE DON’T NEED WANT TO BE ONE MORE US COLONY LIKE YOU AND BARK LIKE DOG ON THOSE ON WHOSE POINTED AMERICAN MASTER. WE DON’T NEED ANY OF YOUR SUPPORT AS WELL AS ANY SOLIDARITY BECAUSE NOBODY OF YOU ARE SINCERELY WITH US OR CARE ABOUT UKRAINIANS OR UKRAINE. YOU ARE JUST PRETENDING THAT YOU ARE WITH US BECAUSE YOU ARE AGAINST RUSSIA WHILE WE ARE NOT. WE ARE AGAINST INJUSTICE. WE HAD ONE GROUP OF THIEVES RULING THE COUNTRY AND IT WAS CHANGED WITH THE ANOTHER GROUP OF THIEVES WHO ARE JUST DESTROYED AND DIVIDED WHOLE COUNTRY AND NATION WITH THOUSAND OF DEATHS.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Afghan, yes. Cuban, yes. Even an American. As for the others, I never saw them myself, so I can’t speak to it.

      As for Saulius – you seem to have read a lot into his comment. A bit of a disproportionate response, don’t you think?

    2. Saulius says:

      Writing in CAPS and calling names make you a tough boy! Nevertheless, what in hell are you talking about? Never did I mention anything you have written here and never did I say that I represent the opinion of the whole nation.

  37. Voldis says:

    already have a translation into Ukrainian. Otherwise – there’s not fair:
    ЯКЩО ЛИТВА БИ ВСТУПИЛА У ВІЙНУ В УКРАЇНІ
    Опубліковано 11 листопада 2014 по Cat Арго в Афганістані
    * Оновлення 1: 12.11.2014: Для запису, я насправді не вірю, що Литва увійде в Україні, незважаючи на сильну політичну риторику. Я просто розмірковую.

    Литовські спецслужби: “Ангели пекла” з Афганістану
    Вільнюс, Литва – Там було багато сильної риторики від литовського уряду у відносинах української кризи. Маленька країна на березі Балтійського моря стала одним з найбільших союзників Києва в ЄС і НАТО. Їх посол, на екстреному засіданні Ради Безпеки ООН, у відповідь на парад полонених українських солдатів у сепаратистської Донецької Народній Республіці, сказав: «… замість того, щоб шукати рішення, Росія збільшує ескалацію ситуації і потоки зброю, обладнання, найманців, а тепер і військ, продовжують проникати через кордон Росії на територію України. Давайте внесемо ясність: зброя не потрапить до рук повстанців з синіх небес “.
    Тобто так само, литовські чиновники зробили свою антиросійську позицію цілком ясну.
    Той невеликий мій досвід з литовцями заснований на знайомстві з їх самими елітними солдатами в Афганістані: «Aitvaras», або їх спецназ (LITHSOF). І я впевнена, що, якби вони приїхали на українську кризу, це б змінило картину війни повністю.
    LITHSOF є механізовані вершники Апокаліпсису – де вони проїдуть, смерть прийде після.
    Замість коней, у них були мотоцикли, і носили вони чорну і білу хустинку над носом і ротом з контуром черепа. Таліби боялися їх.
    Вони повністю ігнорували правила армії США, такі, як їзда не більше 10 км / годину навколо бази або необхідність постійно носити шоломи і світло відбиваючі пояси. Якщо правила були дурними, вони не слідували ними. Їх почуття незалежності, і блок автономії виводили багатьох американських командирів з розуму.
    Після того, як литовці заправили техніку в базі, один молодий американський сержант підійшов, щоб зробити зауваження про відсутність шоломів і захисного одягу на них. Водій знизав плечима і заявив, “не розмовляю англійської!». І поїхав (занадто швидко), залишивши молодого сержанта, який стояв у пилу.
    Тільки десятки воїнів LITHSOF в Афганістані змусили не звертати увагу на їх кількість. Вони стали страхом для терору талібів у провінції Забуль. Вони виправдали своє існування, і стали основою для легенд. Вони були дивовижні бойовики: злісні і радісні в бою, що живуть в постійно контрольованому нерозсудливості.
    Вони критикували небажання американців переступити межу і опинитися в зоні небезпеки і намагалися спростити правила безпеки, які протистояли здоровому глузду.
    “Ви хочете перестрахуватися на війні? Це прямий шлях до поразки. Ми – солдати. А ні діти».
    Вони миттєво бралися за завданням, якщо це було необхідно. Без страху. Без виправдань. Вони обходили правила, якщо це допомагало для місії.
    При всій цій жорстокості, вони були добрими господарями. Вони відкрили свої приміщення деяким з нас, і ми вечорами там збиралися палити сигари, в їх «печеру» – місце, як вони це називали, яке стало притулком для багатьох з нас.
    Вони змусили нас пити чай з відривних пелюсток ромашки, чай зі свіжих квітів, або кави зі свіжим медом (отримували посилками з совій батьківщини). Кожен новачок був зобов’язаний спробувати їх сауну, якої вони дуже пишалися. Коли я там приходила, я часто просила дозволу, щоб випити чашку кави або чаю, поки вони не розсердилися і сказали: “Кішечка, ви не розумієте”, – використовуючи прізвисько вони визначали для мене, симпатичну форму слова кішка, – “наша печера – ваша печера . Не соромтеся, не соромтеся. вистачить питати! ”
    Свого командира вони називали Леонідас (але ніколи не в обличчя) який мав разючу подібність з спартанським царем, якого у фільмі «300» грає Джерард Батлер. Ім’я також підходило не тільки «по обличчю», а й по його репутації.
    Леонідас раз посадив мене вчити цифри: дні, місяці на його рідній литовській мові – яка, до речі, не була легкою. Пізно вночі, коли я не могла спати, він сидів зі мною в кімнаті відпочинку, і ми розмовляли про життя, про сім’ю, і він постарався поділиться своїми братніми думками: “Ми велика родина в цій печері”, – говорив Леонідас. – “Ми витрачаємо більше часу один з одним, ніж навіть з нашими реальними родинами. Ми боремося, ми сердимося один на одного, але ми сім’я. І я думаю, що ми і ваша сім’я теж”.
    Леонідас, якось сказав мені, що американці занадто звикли до комфортного життя – у процвітанні ми втратили свою перспективу. Ми засунули себе в зону комфорту, зручностей і жиру. Будучи супер силою, ми втрачаємо реальні зв’язки зі світом.
    Леонідас розповів про російське вторгнення в Литву.
    Він пояснив мені, що їх суспільство було процвітаючим, комфортним і жирним теж. Вони частинами відмовлялися від своїх свобод – для продовження комфорту, до того дня, поки вони були захоплені, коли вже не було більше свободи, якої ще торгувати.
    “Росіяни взяли над без єдиного, єдиного пострілу!”, – сказав він.
    За це йому було соромно. І він говорив, з великою рішучістю, заявляючи, що це ніколи не повинно повторюватися. Маленька країна Литва, ніколи заново не дозволить собі так здатися, дешево і просто. І, через засудження в його темних очах, я прийшла до переконання, що Путін повинен зібрати величезну силу, щоб вирвати свободу Литви їх холодного, стиснутого кулака Леоніда.
    Уроки історії для мене може бути були спрощеним і односторонніми, але я взяла їх, як Євангелію. Ніхто не повинен сумніватися Леонідасом.
    Його заступник, який був відомий як «вбивця півтори милі», міг смажити талібів з великої відстані, їдучи на своєму мотоциклі, спростити їх відому жорсткість, сказавши: “Ми Литовці. От і все”.
    У мене немає великого досвіду роботи з Литвою – але те, що я знаю про їх солдат, то – що вони присвячені, і смертельно віддані.
    Литовці, які стояли переді мною, це – не ті ж самі, які дозволили б собі завоювати. Я переконана, що тільки повне знищення всіх литовців, дозволить історію окупації повторитися.
    Проте, згадуючи про Радянський Союз, я думаю, що введення LITHSOF в Україні, моментально поміняло б хід війни на користь Києва, або, принаймні, стало б початком психологічної травми для проросійських сепаратистів. Литовці би ставали Жахом для Новоросії.
    Я готова тримати парі, ставити всі свої гроші на команду «Aitvaras», а не на їх ворогів. Хоча для «Aitvaras», для цих вершників Апокаліпсису, це була тільки був би рядовий, вдалий день. Навіть без присмаку: «нічого особливого!»

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I truly lament my lack of languages at this moment. Thank you for this.

  38. Voldis says:

    already have a translation into Ukrainian. Otherwise – there’s not fair:
    ЯКЩО ЛИТВА БИ ВСТУПИЛА У ВІЙНУ В УКРАЇНІ
    Опубліковано 11 листопада 2014 по Cat Арго в Афганістані
    * Оновлення 1: 12.11.2014: Для запису, я насправді не вірю, що Литва увійде в Україні, незважаючи на сильну політичну риторику. Я просто розмірковую.

    Литовські спецслужби: “Ангели пекла” з Афганістану
    Вільнюс, Литва – Там було багато сильної риторики від литовського уряду у відносинах української кризи. Маленька країна на березі Балтійського моря стала одним з найбільших союзників Києва в ЄС і НАТО. Їх посол, на екстреному засіданні Ради Безпеки ООН, у відповідь на парад полонених українських солдатів у сепаратистської Донецької Народній Республіці, сказав: «… замість того, щоб шукати рішення, Росія збільшує ескалацію ситуації і потоки зброю, обладнання, найманців, а тепер і військ, продовжують проникати через кордон Росії на територію України. Давайте внесемо ясність: зброя не потрапить до рук повстанців з синіх небес “.
    Тобто так само, литовські чиновники зробили свою антиросійську позицію цілком ясну.
    Той невеликий мій досвід з литовцями заснований на знайомстві з їх самими елітними солдатами в Афганістані: «Aitvaras», або їх спецназ (LITHSOF). І я впевнена, що, якби вони приїхали на українську кризу, це б змінило картину війни повністю.
    LITHSOF є механізовані вершники Апокаліпсису – де вони проїдуть, смерть прийде після.
    Замість коней, у них були мотоцикли, і носили вони чорну і білу хустинку над носом і ротом з контуром черепа. Таліби боялися їх.
    Вони повністю ігнорували правила армії США, такі, як їзда не більше 10 км / годину навколо бази або необхідність постійно носити шоломи і світло відбиваючі пояси. Якщо правила були дурними, вони не слідували ними. Їх почуття незалежності, і блок автономії виводили багатьох американських командирів з розуму.
    Після того, як литовці заправили техніку в базі, один молодий американський сержант підійшов, щоб зробити зауваження про відсутність шоломів і захисного одягу на них. Водій знизав плечима і заявив, “не розмовляю англійської!». І поїхав (занадто швидко), залишивши молодого сержанта, який стояв у пилу.
    Тільки десятки воїнів LITHSOF в Афганістані змусили не звертати увагу на їх кількість. Вони стали страхом для терору талібів у провінції Забуль. Вони виправдали своє існування, і стали основою для легенд. Вони були дивовижні бойовики: злісні і радісні в бою, що живуть в постійно контрольованому нерозсудливості.
    Вони критикували небажання американців переступити межу і опинитися в зоні небезпеки і намагалися спростити правила безпеки, які протистояли здоровому глузду.
    “Ви хочете перестрахуватися на війні? Це прямий шлях до поразки. Ми – солдати. А ні діти».
    Вони миттєво бралися за завданням, якщо це було необхідно. Без страху. Без виправдань. Вони обходили правила, якщо це допомагало для місії.
    При всій цій жорстокості, вони були добрими господарями. Вони відкрили свої приміщення деяким з нас, і ми вечорами там збиралися палити сигари, в їх «печеру» – місце, як вони це називали, яке стало притулком для багатьох з нас.
    Вони змусили нас пити чай з відривних пелюсток ромашки, чай зі свіжих квітів, або кави зі свіжим медом (отримували посилками з совій батьківщини). Кожен новачок був зобов’язаний спробувати їх сауну, якої вони дуже пишалися. Коли я там приходила, я часто просила дозволу, щоб випити чашку кави або чаю, поки вони не розсердилися і сказали: “Кішечка, ви не розумієте”, – використовуючи прізвисько вони визначали для мене, симпатичну форму слова кішка, – “наша печера – ваша печера . Не соромтеся, не соромтеся. вистачить питати! ”
    Свого командира вони називали Леонідас (але ніколи не в обличчя) який мав разючу подібність з спартанським царем, якого у фільмі «300» грає Джерард Батлер. Ім’я також підходило не тільки «по обличчю», а й по його репутації.
    Леонідас раз посадив мене вчити цифри: дні, місяці на його рідній литовській мові – яка, до речі, не була легкою. Пізно вночі, коли я не могла спати, він сидів зі мною в кімнаті відпочинку, і ми розмовляли про життя, про сім’ю, і він постарався поділиться своїми братніми думками: “Ми велика родина в цій печері”, – говорив Леонідас. – “Ми витрачаємо більше часу один з одним, ніж навіть з нашими реальними родинами. Ми боремося, ми сердимося один на одного, але ми сім’я. І я думаю, що ми і ваша сім’я теж”.
    Леонідас, якось сказав мені, що американці занадто звикли до комфортного життя – у процвітанні ми втратили свою перспективу. Ми засунули себе в зону комфорту, зручностей і жиру. Будучи супер силою, ми втрачаємо реальні зв’язки зі світом.
    Леонідас розповів про російське вторгнення в Литву.
    Він пояснив мені, що їх суспільство було процвітаючим, комфортним і жирним теж. Вони частинами відмовлялися від своїх свобод – для продовження комфорту, до того дня, поки вони були захоплені, коли вже не було більше свободи, якої ще торгувати.
    “Росіяни взяли над без єдиного, єдиного пострілу!”, – сказав він.
    За це йому було соромно. І він говорив, з великою рішучістю, заявляючи, що це ніколи не повинно повторюватися. Маленька країна Литва, ніколи заново не дозволить собі так здатися, дешево і просто. І, через засудження в його темних очах, я прийшла до переконання, що Путін повинен зібрати величезну силу, щоб вирвати свободу Литви їх холодного, стиснутого кулака Леоніда.
    Уроки історії для мене може бути були спрощеним і односторонніми, але я взяла їх, як Євангелію. Ніхто не повинен сумніватися Леонідасом.
    Його заступник, який був відомий як «вбивця півтори милі», міг смажити талібів з великої відстані, їдучи на своєму мотоциклі, спростити їх відому жорсткість, сказавши: “Ми Литовці. От і все”.
    У мене немає великого досвіду роботи з Литвою – але те, що я знаю про їх солдат, то – що вони присвячені, і смертельно віддані.
    Литовці, які стояли переді мною, це – не ті ж самі, які дозволили б собі завоювати. Я переконана, що тільки повне знищення всіх литовців, дозволить історію окупації повторитися.
    Проте, згадуючи про Радянський Союз, я думаю, що введення LITHSOF в Україні, моментально поміняло б хід війни на користь Києва, або, принаймні, стало б початком психологічної травми для проросійських сепаратистів. Литовці би ставали Жахом для Новоросії.
    Я готова тримати парі, ставити всі свої гроші на команду «Aitvaras», а не на їх ворогів. Хоча для «Aitvaras», для цих вершників Апокаліпсису, це була тільки був би рядовий, вдалий день. Навіть без присмаку: «нічого особливого!»

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I truly lament my lack of languages at this moment. Thank you for this.

  39. Alex says:

    “His second in command, who was known as the mile-and-a-half killer for having sniped a Taliban from a great distance as he rode away on his motorcycle, had once simplified their known toughness by saying, “We are Lithuanian. That is all.” – so, is this Hobbit XIV plot? Sounds cool. When is it released?

    Looks like a guy discovered a militant on a motorcycle and was most impressed. I am Lithuanian, all our country does is talking against east and spends money on that. There’s nothing patriotic in people (very most of them), population emigrates to Britain, German and is dropping each year.

    So what are we talking about, seriously?

  40. Alex says:

    “His second in command, who was known as the mile-and-a-half killer for having sniped a Taliban from a great distance as he rode away on his motorcycle, had once simplified their known toughness by saying, “We are Lithuanian. That is all.” – so, is this Hobbit XIV plot? Sounds cool. When is it released?

    Looks like a guy discovered a militant on a motorcycle and was most impressed. I am Lithuanian, all our country does is talking against east and spends money on that. There’s nothing patriotic in people (very most of them), population emigrates to Britain, German and is dropping each year.

    So what are we talking about, seriously?

  41. Voldis says:

    Men have a war – the winners,
    Men have pants – it slaves.
    Traitors to their motherland is always only slaves!

  42. Voldis says:

    Men have a war – the winners,
    Men have pants – it slaves.
    Traitors to their motherland is always only slaves!

  43. Šarūnas says:

    Hi Kat, thanks for that interesting story ! Never heard anything similar here in LT, though I know personally some of the soldiers who served recently in Afganistan. I know also some of the soldiers who served in Soviet Army in the same Afganistan 30 years ago. They never ever told me anything close to your thoughts 🙂

    Concerning disgrace of 1940 Leonidas is not probably well aware that some of regiments of LT Army, despite orders from LT High command to surrender, were resisting against the Red Army. My grandfather was soldier of on of that regiment and they fought back Red Army near small town Plunge on a major road to Klaipeda.

    Few years later many of brave LT Army soldiers joined Wermacht to fight against Red Army. My grandfather become panzerjeager and his brother become MG42 operator in elite waffenss division. They both survived the war.

    There were some very outstanding and famous in Wermacht lithuanian snipers, luftwaffe aces, etc.

    Nevertheless let’s be realistic – russians know how to make war and they will always outnumber. If the war happens again, LT with all Leonidas like together, will probably be able to resist for few weeks at most. This is taking into account the newest warfare technologies.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I can concede your point. However, I think on this article, I was more concerned about pro-Russian rebels a la Donetsk and Luhansk, than I meant for the Aitvaras vs. the entire Russian military.

      However, thank you for all the information and feedback. It has certainly been educational to get these comments.

  44. Šarūnas says:

    Hi Kat, thanks for that interesting story ! Never heard anything similar here in LT, though I know personally some of the soldiers who served recently in Afganistan. I know also some of the soldiers who served in Soviet Army in the same Afganistan 30 years ago. They never ever told me anything close to your thoughts 🙂

    Concerning disgrace of 1940 Leonidas is not probably well aware that some of regiments of LT Army, despite orders from LT High command to surrender, were resisting against the Red Army. My grandfather was soldier of on of that regiment and they fought back Red Army near small town Plunge on a major road to Klaipeda.

    Few years later many of brave LT Army soldiers joined Wermacht to fight against Red Army. My grandfather become panzerjeager and his brother become MG42 operator in elite waffenss division. They both survived the war.

    There were some very outstanding and famous in Wermacht lithuanian snipers, luftwaffe aces, etc.

    Nevertheless let’s be realistic – russians know how to make war and they will always outnumber. If the war happens again, LT with all Leonidas like together, will probably be able to resist for few weeks at most. This is taking into account the newest warfare technologies.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I can concede your point. However, I think on this article, I was more concerned about pro-Russian rebels a la Donetsk and Luhansk, than I meant for the Aitvaras vs. the entire Russian military.

      However, thank you for all the information and feedback. It has certainly been educational to get these comments.

  45. Erzvilkai says:

    Kat, you opened Pandora’s box…

    1. Kat Argo says:

      That sounds frightfully ominous…

      1. Vilius says:

        very well written. I understand that your position is consistent with a number of Lithuanian (Western-through), but there is still the Ukrainian – Russian, Lithuanian – Russian. Etc. of course those people support Russia (it’s like their home country, which often were not even there) Anyway, I would suggest to read more books on guerrilla warfare in the Baltic countries. Anyway, Lithuanians, all wars fought even when Lithuania had lost its statehood. Lithuanians fought the US Civil War Confederate side (they promised to give ground, and citizenship) France Russia wars. and everywhere from the first World War to Chechnya. They fought not for their country, and behind that they can understand truth. Lithuanians tempered people. although many researchers have tried to understand the Lithuanian national character is told only a few things: Lithuania is not charismatic, hard-working, long-suffering and sacrifice everything for the family and the land, even Russian researchers wrote: Lithuanian people are friendly, not very emotional when talked about expression, silent friendly and hard-working people, living in the east and west tape bridge to the East and the West, Lithuanian nation mate enemy movement through their land. Therefore, it is hard-working and friendly at the same time and continue to resist the (proven by the chroniclers of the Crusaders, the NKVD archives, etc.) in any event invites you to visit Lithuania countries where people are friendly and hospitable 🙂

        1. Kat Argo says:

          Thank you! Once the traveling returns to my plans, one of my priorities is to spend much more time in Lithuania.

  46. Erzvilkai says:

    Kat, you opened Pandora’s box…

  47. Leonidas says:

    Dear Sarunas,

    First of all, we know not only how to make a war, we know how to survive and win such a wars where all the rest of world are surrendering. Outnumbered? In the same WWII we had Red Army soldier who just with the one axe killed about 50 Germans who were trying to surround him.
    Second, two weeks? It seems to be you are not well informed or really too optimistic about your army so you are just not really understanding what are u talking about. If just to take the quickest and easiest situation development – it is Kaliningrad’s based Iskanders. Time of arrival of Iskander’s rocket to Vilnius is 170 seconds – so in theory your military even will not have enough time to press red alert button…In 2008 year while Georgian–Ossetian conflict such a missile destroyed 28 Georgian tanks by one hit and how many tanks is having Lithuania? 200? Georgia surrendered in two days while Russian Army had aim to destroy only military contingent and it was used only adequate number of military power to disarm enemy. Basically, everything will be ended just as it will be started…

    Kat,

    I don’t mind that Lithuanian Special Forces could change situation in Eastern Europe if Blackwater, Ottago and all the rest couldn’t do this until now while the most toughest Blackwater guys consisting of ex-US Special Forces guys like USMC, Rangers and etc.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Blackwater no longer exists. It hasn’t for several years.

      And Neither Rangers or USMC are “Special Forces”.

  48. Leonidas says:

    Dear Sarunas,

    First of all, we know not only how to make a war, we know how to survive and win such a wars where all the rest of world are surrendering. Outnumbered? In the same WWII we had Red Army soldier who just with the one axe killed about 50 Germans who were trying to surround him.
    Second, two weeks? It seems to be you are not well informed or really too optimistic about your army so you are just not really understanding what are u talking about. If just to take the quickest and easiest situation development – it is Kaliningrad’s based Iskanders. Time of arrival of Iskander’s rocket to Vilnius is 170 seconds – so in theory your military even will not have enough time to press red alert button…In 2008 year while Georgian–Ossetian conflict such a missile destroyed 28 Georgian tanks by one hit and how many tanks is having Lithuania? 200? Georgia surrendered in two days while Russian Army had aim to destroy only military contingent and it was used only adequate number of military power to disarm enemy. Basically, everything will be ended just as it will be started…

    Kat,

    I don’t mind that Lithuanian Special Forces could change situation in Eastern Europe if Blackwater, Ottago and all the rest couldn’t do this until now while the most toughest Blackwater guys consisting of ex-US Special Forces guys like USMC, Rangers and etc.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Blackwater no longer exists. It hasn’t for several years.

      And Neither Rangers or USMC are “Special Forces”.

  49. Leonidas says:

    Alright captain obviousand master of “play around” with just declining and without refuting.
    I wrote “Blackwater” because I didn’t wanted to list all the past names like Xe Services LLC or Academi or Constellis Holdings or Greystone.

    Alright master of “play around” if USMC and Rangers not Special Forces then who? Special OPERATIONS forces? lol.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      It’s actually straight forward.

      There are four branches of service with the US Military – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Your statement of USMC being Special Forces would be akin to saying “The whole US Army” is special Forces.

      Special Operations Forces (SOF) are trained to perform unconventional missions (USMC, being a majority conventional force). No entire branch of the military can be deemed as “Special Operations” but, rather, that there are Special operations within them. For example, in the Marine Corps, there is the Marine Corps Special Operations Command – also known as MARSOC.

      SOF are the parts of the US DoD that fall under Special Operations Command (SOCOM) – Delta Forces, US Special Forces (green berets), MARSOC, etc. In the case of Rangers – not all people with Ranger tabs end up in Special Operations.

      However, when people say “Special Forces” (as you did), they often just mean US Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. They are “long tabbers”, and have a tab on their uniform that says “Special Forces”. And of course, they’re not Marines either.

      I hope that clarified things for you.

  50. Leonidas says:

    Alright captain obviousand master of “play around” with just declining and without refuting.
    I wrote “Blackwater” because I didn’t wanted to list all the past names like Xe Services LLC or Academi or Constellis Holdings or Greystone.

    Alright master of “play around” if USMC and Rangers not Special Forces then who? Special OPERATIONS forces? lol.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      It’s actually straight forward.

      There are four branches of service with the US Military – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Your statement of USMC being Special Forces would be akin to saying “The whole US Army” is special Forces.

      Special Operations Forces (SOF) are trained to perform unconventional missions (USMC, being a majority conventional force). No entire branch of the military can be deemed as “Special Operations” but, rather, that there are Special operations within them. For example, in the Marine Corps, there is the Marine Corps Special Operations Command – also known as MARSOC.

      SOF are the parts of the US DoD that fall under Special Operations Command (SOCOM) – Delta Forces, US Special Forces (green berets), MARSOC, etc. In the case of Rangers – not all people with Ranger tabs end up in Special Operations.

      However, when people say “Special Forces” (as you did), they often just mean US Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. They are “long tabbers”, and have a tab on their uniform that says “Special Forces”. And of course, they’re not Marines either.

      I hope that clarified things for you.

  51. Leonidas says:

    I agree that I was wrong to use these abbreviations since I wanted to write that private military companies interested in military guys with special preparation, which were involved in special operations. Anyway you still think that LITSOF would be able to change situation in Donbass even if these guys who served in Delta Force, Green Berets, Rangers, Marine Corp or whoever else were not able to that?

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I actually never agreed with your premise. I have no evidence of American veterans being in Ukraine as anything other than a) NGO’s b) Journalists or c) suppliers… possibly even advisors, but I only heard rumors of the last bit.

      However, assuming that I go along with this idea that there are a significant presence of former American military in Ukraine (which I don’t believe), they are not fighting… some INDIVIDUALS that are prior service have volunteered to fight in Ukraine – one famously a west point graduate – but they are not acting as a unit.

      LITSOF aren’t exactly the ‘sit back, supply and advise’ type of guys and they work as a unit. So yes, I do believe it would still make a difference in Donbass.

    2. Ed Nice says:

      Ex-Delta/Green Berets/Rangers/Marines have better things to do than run around with a rag-tag mercenary force. Aitvaras guys live/work/fight as one. They can coordinate with eachother better than any mixed merc unit can. The fact that Aitvaras has yet to loose a man in combat, should speak volumes of their combat readiness, survivability and combat ability. Also, for some reason, you make it look like the Donbass and Azov batallions are full of elite soldiers, and not just trigger-happy hired guns with a chip on their shoulder the size of an aircraft carrier. Can’t imagine why…

  52. Leonidas says:

    I agree that I was wrong to use these abbreviations since I wanted to write that private military companies interested in military guys with special preparation, which were involved in special operations. Anyway you still think that LITSOF would be able to change situation in Donbass even if these guys who served in Delta Force, Green Berets, Rangers, Marine Corp or whoever else were not able to that?

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I actually never agreed with your premise. I have no evidence of American veterans being in Ukraine as anything other than a) NGO’s b) Journalists or c) suppliers… possibly even advisors, but I only heard rumors of the last bit.

      However, assuming that I go along with this idea that there are a significant presence of former American military in Ukraine (which I don’t believe), they are not fighting… some INDIVIDUALS that are prior service have volunteered to fight in Ukraine – one famously a west point graduate – but they are not acting as a unit.

      LITSOF aren’t exactly the ‘sit back, supply and advise’ type of guys and they work as a unit. So yes, I do believe it would still make a difference in Donbass.

  53. Tabitha says:

    Wow, looks like this post went somewhat viral!

    As a memory/looking back piece, I love it. So well written and definitely gives the reader a solid feel for what you experienced. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  54. Tabitha says:

    Wow, looks like this post went somewhat viral!

    As a memory/looking back piece, I love it. So well written and definitely gives the reader a solid feel for what you experienced. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  55. Vincentas says:

    Dear Kat,

    Thank you so much for an excellent article. I am very proud of our Lithuanian forces.

    Vincentas

    1. Kat Argo says:

      Thank you for your comment. I think Lith Forces were extraordinary.

  56. Kat Argo says:

    Thank you for your comment. I think Lith Forces were extraordinary.

  57. Alex says:

    How nasty bunch of impostors purchased in Kiev staged a coup in the Russian pitted Okrainu some nasty stories about heavenly life in the EU, and that was enough to make you jump like fools puppet under Nazi slogans, insult, burn, torture, bombed their relatives. Is 35 million people living in Kiev, Chernigov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and other areas could do nothing with a thousand bastards coup and thousands of liberated recidivists, brazenly seized power in Kiev, where to legitimate elections was only six months ?! Where are you living in Ukraine, honest, normal Russian, Ukrainians, Armenians, Jews, Georgians, Tatars, Moldovans, Belarusians, Latvians, Estonians, Germans, Poles, whose grandparents were killed in concentration camps and in the trenches for not to repeat Auschwitz and Babi Yar, Volyn massacre! What happened to you, you have brought up their children, as there is the destruction of your past and crucifixion for the sake of overseas crazy.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I don’t think this has anything to do with this article, but glad you got that off your chest, mate.

  58. Alex says:

    How nasty bunch of impostors purchased in Kiev staged a coup in the Russian pitted Okrainu some nasty stories about heavenly life in the EU, and that was enough to make you jump like fools puppet under Nazi slogans, insult, burn, torture, bombed their relatives. Is 35 million people living in Kiev, Chernigov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and other areas could do nothing with a thousand bastards coup and thousands of liberated recidivists, brazenly seized power in Kiev, where to legitimate elections was only six months ?! Where are you living in Ukraine, honest, normal Russian, Ukrainians, Armenians, Jews, Georgians, Tatars, Moldovans, Belarusians, Latvians, Estonians, Germans, Poles, whose grandparents were killed in concentration camps and in the trenches for not to repeat Auschwitz and Babi Yar, Volyn massacre! What happened to you, you have brought up their children, as there is the destruction of your past and crucifixion for the sake of overseas crazy.

    1. Kat Argo says:

      I don’t think this has anything to do with this article, but glad you got that off your chest, mate.

  59. algi says:

    I do like when lithuania named as liliput country…but u do fear of this small country.
    An we do have history..
    what the russians have…nothing exept dumb goverment which hates lithuania but can’t do nothing…
    to coment KIYV…
    U ARE NOT UKRAINIAN FOR SURE.

  60. algi says:

    I do like when lithuania named as liliput country…but u do fear of this small country.
    An we do have history..
    what the russians have…nothing exept dumb goverment which hates lithuania but can’t do nothing…
    to coment KIYV…
    U ARE NOT UKRAINIAN FOR SURE.

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