Tags / rifleman's union
Vytautas Pusvaskis joined the Soviet resistance in 1945 when he was 15 years old. He worked as an informant and a helper due to his young age. Vytautas was eventually captured and sentenced to death. At the same time, death was abolished in the Soviet Union and he was instead sent to a forced labour camp in Moldova, where he survived for 8 years before faking an illness and securing release. âI joined the RU in 1991, and Iâm 87 years old now; and so I still serve.â
Youngsters can join the union at the age of 11, but will not touch a real weapon until the age of 18. Regardless, militarised structure and discipline takes the leading role in their activities.
National Defence Volunteers (KASP), part of the Lithuanian armed forces, storm a building occupied by the RU, who pose as the separatists.
RU mount a formidable defense against the attacking infantry.
KASP is bogged down in close-quarters combat, with the heavily entrenched RU fighters.
Flare launched by the attacking military forces signals for the three-pronged attack to begin; heavy snow has fallen overnight.
KASP volunteers duck from incoming flare.
RU member prepares dud IEDs, to ring the âseparatistâ HQ.
Members of the RU wait for the assault to begin. Mindaugas, pictured on the left, said: âItâs just weird how a tiny country Lithuania is perceived by a much greater country, in the sense of size, as an enemy to them.â
RU detain a âcivilianâ carrying an IED through a makeshift checkpoint.
Members of the RU prepare a meal on an open fire. All supplies are self-funded.
RU commanders discuss last-minute defense plans for the morningâs assault.
Neimantas Psilenskis, a member of the RU since he was 14 years old, gets married in the Kaunas Garrison Church. After permission was given to wear the ceremonial uniform, he was greeted by the Honorary Guard himself.