According to the intelligence agency, May 9 commemorations will most likely be held at Soviet soldiers' cemeteries in Lithuania this year, as every year.

"It cannot be ruled out that provocations or violent incidents may occur during these events," VSD has said in a comment to BNS this week.

Such commemorations are organized annually in various Lithuanian cities and towns by Russian diplomats together with Russian expatriates.

These events are usually attended by several hundred people wearing Saint George's ribbons which the Lithuanian parliament is planning to outlaw because of the war in Ukraine.

If the legislation is passed, wearing the black and orange ribbons and displaying the "Z" symbol of the Russian war in Ukraine will be punishable by law.

The intelligence agency says that some organized efforts may be seen in the run-up to May 9, noting that demonstrations in support of Russia's war in Ukraine are already held in some EU countries.

Propaganda narratives

VSD also notes that some prominent pro-Kremlin figures and fictitious social media accounts are sharing the Russian regime's propaganda narratives, and creating and spreading false information.

"This includes opposing the blocking of Russian TV channels and sensitivity to sanctions on Russian banks," it said in the comment.

In some cases, however, public justification of the Kremlin regime and the war in Ukraine is avoided, "presumably in fear of a possible extremely negative reaction from the Lithuanian public".

"At the same time, we record attempts to systematically disseminate negative information about war refugees from Ukraine and to antagonize the Lithuanian population against them," the agency said.

Processes under police radar

Ramunas Matonis, spokesman for the Police Department, has told BNS that officers are also constantly monitoring processes in the country.

"The police are constantly analyzing what is happening in the public space, what processes are taking place in the country, and, obviously, what is happening all over the world, and what draft legislation is under discussion in the Seimas," he said.

The police will be ready to ensure public order during May 9 events, according to the spokesman.

"Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is likely that more opponents will gather," he said. "The police are and will be constantly assessing this and will be ready to enforce public order."

Municipal officials in Vilnius and Klaipeda have told BNS that municipal authorities do not issue permits for events in cemeteries, noting that no one has yet requested permits for May 9 events in other places.

Russia invaded Ukraine more than a month ago and started a war that has sparked outrage and anger around the world.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and several million have been forced to flee the war-torn country.

There are increasing reports of Ukrainian civilians tortured by Russian troops in areas that were temporarily taken by the Kremlin's army.

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