VILNIUS, Lithuania – A Lithuanian court has found the Soviet Union's last defense minister guilty of war crimes for his role in a violent crackdown on the Baltic country's independence move 28 years ago.
The Vilnius Regional Court on Wednesday sentenced 94-year-old Dmitry Yazov in absentia to 10 years in prison.
He and 66 other Soviet-era officials were on trial for the violence that left 14 people dead and hundreds injured when Soviet troops stormed a television tower and an adjacent building in Vilnius on Jan. 13, 1991.
The trial began in 2016. Only two defendants were present in court with most of the others being in Russia, which has refused to hand them over. Those present have pleaded not guilty.