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Another Lithuanian Plant Falls Into Soviet Control

January 23, 1991|From Associated Press

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Soviet soldiers seized the central paper and dye warehouse in the Lithuanian capital today despite a pledge by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to return calm to the Baltic republics.

A statement by the Lithuanian Parliament press office said two civilians who claimed to be representatives of the Lithuanian Communist Party announced they were taking control when they arrived at the building with soldiers.

The seizure put the number of buildings now under Soviet military control at nine. On Jan. 13, an attack on the republic's broadcast center left 14 dead and injured hundreds. Six others have since been slain in similar assaults in Latvia.

Gorbachev had told the nation Tuesday that his main task was to achieve calm in the Baltics, where troops have attacked public buildings with the open support of the Communist Party.

The Parliament statement said the warehouse belongs to the "Spauda" association. No one was reported hurt.

About 20 Interior Ministry soldiers with automatic weapons drove up in five jeeps and immediately took up positions throughout the warehouse, which supplies dye to printing presses throughout the republic.

The military already controls Press House, the main printing plant in Vilnius. A unit of the so-called black beret troops of the Soviet Interior Ministry earlier this month seized a similar plant in the Latvian capital, Riga.

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