Lithuania’s Defense Ministry Clears Soldiers who Participated in Neo-Nazi March

Lithuania’s main newspaper Lietuvos Rytas reported today on an internal investigation by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense into participation by Lithuanian soldiers in neo-Nazi marches. The investigation found that the soldiers hadn’t violated the law, but the ministry isn’t making public the contents of the inquiry. The presence of neo-Nazis in the Lithuanian military came to light after the website published photos of participants in a March 11 neo-Nazi independence day march through central Vilnius, next to pictures of the same people in Lithuanian military uniforms. See’s posts here and here.

Lithuanian defense minister Rasa Juknevičienė refused to comment for the newspaper, but the ministry’s public relations representative Skomantas Povilionis said the soldiers hadn’t broken any laws. He added that Lithuanian laws prevented him from revealing the names of those investigated.

Lithuanian Human Rights Watch Institute director Henrikas Mickevičius said the military was trying to talk its way out of the situation, and that the military and ministry had taken up a defensive position and were refusing to inform the public of important matters.

Lietuvos Rytas’s webpage version of the story contained a link to a video interview with one of the Lithuanian soldiers who openly marched with a swastika design at the march. The web version of the story also contained photos of him wearing a swastika necklace at the march and performing sieg heil type salutes.

This entry was posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Free Speech & Democracy, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Swastikas in Lithuania, Vilnius. Bookmark the permalink.
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