Soviet Union Red Army Blues

The secession crisis in Lithuania adds to the military's unhappiness over cuts in manpower, money and hardware

In the frigid darkness between midnight and dawn, two troop carriers pulled up in front of a psychiatric hospital outside Vilnius and a phalanx of Soviet paratroopers in battle dress leaped out. The soldiers dashed up the stairs to the third floor, smashed doors and windows and dragged out about two dozen Lithuanian deserters who had been hiding in the ward. Some of the youths ; resisted, and were clubbed with rifle butts, leaving splashes of blood on the steps. The commander in chief of Soviet ground forces, General Valentin Varennikov, vowed that the army would round up all of the...

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