The Soviet prosecutor's office denied Monday that protesters were crushed by tanks or killed by gunfire from Soviet troops when the military attacked a Lithuanian television center in January.
Lithuanian officials immediately denounced the report, which conflicts with photographs published around the world that showed one of the protesters being crushed by a tank Jan. 13.The report also conflicts with an official Lithuanian report as well as the accounts of dozens of Western reporters who were in the crowd as soldiers opened fire.
A Lithuanian parliamentary spokeswoman said the Soviet prosecutor's report was deliberately issued ahead of Mikhail S. Gorbachev's Nobel Peace Prize lecture this week in Norway to help the Soviet president counter international outrage over the violence.
Journalists said the Lithuanians were unarmed as they tried to protect the television center with "people power." Kremlin supporters had asked for the Soviet troops to intervene, alleging discrimination on the part of the secessionist government.