23 June 2017, Friday, 9:59

Russian Secret Services Work With Lithuanian, Belarusian Airsoft Players

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ARVIDAS ANUŠAUSKAS
PHOTO: DELFI

The news that the Lithuanian special police detained potential "green men" at the territory of the country became viral in Lithuania.

A few days ago, a group of airsoft enthusiasts dressed in Russian camouflage uniforms and armed with airsoft guns that looked no different from real weapons, conducted exercises near Nemenčine (a town 30 kilometers from Vilnius). It is noteworthy that a training ground where NATO exercises are held is located near Nemenčine. There is also the village of Turniškės nearby, where the residences of the country's top officials are located.

Arvidas Anušauskas, the member of the National Security and Defense Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania, commented upon the said events under the plea of the Charter97.org.

“The role of informal or even formal fans of airsoft in the plans of the Russian special services is demonstrated by the events at the territory of eastern Ukraine. Several years ago, before the outbreak of the war in the Donbas, Ukrainian services noted that in this region, airsoft fans clubs, various clubs for shooting or martial arts, organizations that unite Cossacks and people of pro-Russian orientation are active. At certain point, these organizations became a kind of supportive environment for separatists,” – Arvidas Anušauskas told.

According to the politician, a few years ago the Lithuanian Security Department stated that several such groups operated in their country. Officially, members of such organizations are engaged in seemingly very far from politics activities, but checking social networks accounts revealed their pro-Kremlin orientation.

“One may think there is nothing bad about it, as Lithuania is a democratic state, all its citizens have a right to various opinions and points of view, but it was recorded these people had contacts with the officials of the Russian secret services. Representatives of these groups participated in the exercises launched by the Russian secret services, took part in different tournaments at the territory of Kaliningrad. So in fact this is far from being such an innocent activity,” – Anušauskas noted.

Official information confirms the politician’s words: members of Lithuania's active airsoft clubs traveled to Kaliningrad for the "Path to Victory" tournament organized by the "Spetsnaz Rus" association, where they teach Russian military tactics. The report says that "they trained with Russian and Belarusian airsoft players." As a result, Lithuanian airsofters were under surveillance, especially the teams "Spetsnaz" and "East". According to the representatives from the circles of airsoft fans, these teams after being mentioned in the report of the Department of Security disassociated from participation in such events, together with their Russian and Belarusian colleagues.

The Lithuanian politician draws attention to some other curious coincidences.

"We noticed that the detainees arranged their tournament in Nemenčine, not far from the training ground where military exercises are held, and next to Turniškės where the residences of the prime minister and the president of the country are located. Similar exercises near protected objects can not but attract attention. After the searches carried out by the police in the houses and apartments of the detainees, it was found out that homemade explosives could be stored there," - Anušauskas stressed.