With flowers and solemn speeches, Lithuanians are marking the 25th anniversary of a deadly Soviet crackdown that failed to quash the Baltic country's quest for independence.

Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday outside Parliament and near a TV tower in Vilnius to honor the 14 people killed when Soviet troops and tanks moved into a crowd of protesters on Jan. 13, 1991.

The attacks only emboldened Lithuanians to demand freedom, which they gained later that year.

President Dalia Grybauskaite drew parallels between those events and Ukraine's conflict with Moscow, saying "we feel a bond of unity with the people of Ukraine whose representatives are among us today."

It was the first of a series of events planned this year in the Baltic countries to commemorate the end of the Soviet occupation.