“Peering past the black tarps covering the windows of the barricaded house, the men in camouflage could see daylight gradually illuminate the fresh snow.
For two days, speakers outside the barricaded buildings had blasted Soviet-era jingles: “Put down your guns! Your leaders have forgotten you! While you stand here and freeze, other men are having fun with your women!”
The separatists holed up in their headquarters had been getting defenses ready for the daybreak assault, noisily loading blanks into the magazines of their semi-automatic weapons and assembling dud IEDs.
In this joint training exercise with the country’s military, the Lithuanian Riflemen played the role of separatists declaring a breakaway republic, much like the Moscow-backed rebels did in eastern Ukraine in 2014 — a scenario some fear may be replicated here.”