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Occupation and Genocide Day: readiness of the modern Armed Forces would stop the history from repeating

June 15 is Occupation and Genocide Day: 81 years ago Lithuania lost its independence to the Soviet Union occupier for half a century.

“The importance of readiness in the national defence system and the armed forces is brought up to us by both, history and current events. The Russian invasion of Georgia and later, the military actions in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea have demonstrated to us that we have to stay vigilant. This is why we reinstated conscription five years ago. This decision has significantly strengthened our resilience,” says Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.

According to Minister, disinformation from the East often attempts to diminish the significance of the modernization of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. That is not accurate, however, and we are ready for defence.

“And the most important part is that today we are not alone anymore. Lithuania has been a member of NATO, the strongest military alliance in the world, for 17 years. This membership is the main component of the deterrence and a clear difference as compared to the situation we were in in the middle of the 20th century. In the wake of the aggressive Russian foreign policy, NATO heads of state took decisions that send an unmistakable signal: the Alliance is ready to defend every member from day one. Understanding that the Baltic states and Poland are the most vulnerable to the aggressive Russian policy, our NATO allies deployed NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalions on the ground to deter potential aggressors and support local capabilities in the event of a conflict. The rotational allied forces, NATO Air Policing Mission – all of these capabilities would step up to counter military aggression on the same day the conflict would begin,” underscores A. Anušauskas.

None of these positive changes would have been possible without the public support. Today, the absolute majority of the Lithuanian people trust the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

Photo credit: A.Pliadis

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