Elvyra: “When me and my husband arrived at Linksmakalnis, the soldiers were still there. After the restoration of independence, the town was passed on to the Ministry of Communications and Information; later to the Kaunas Radio Center, which leased the territory to the public limited liability company Statyba (Eng.: Construction). My husband had worked there.
In Soviet times there was a KGB unit. There were many educated women living in Linksmakalnis and they had worked as translators - French, English. Encrypted international affairs.
The military had named us as first occupants - there were about six of us, the first settlers. Nevertheless, they were very polite people ...
I remember the day when we farewelled the soldiers and their leader from Linksmakalnis. That was in 1993 June 16, 1:45 p.m. Several Volga cars had stopped outside the gate. The military popped a bottle of champagne and tasted it. To toast their journey. That was an unforgettable day. As they passed through the gate, we were standing in the street. There were about eight of us. We didn‘t dare to enter any house. We had a suspicion that something might blow up. We did not feel safe and comfortable. At that time, it might have been safe in Lithuania, but elsewhere. Although, on the other hand, then, the era of banditry began.
Soldiers had left it very clean, but Linksmakalnis looked gloomy. There were about 1000 of them and about 300 apartments.
75 families had stayed. They were scared. My husband would go to comfort them. I remember it well, every day from 4 pm until 9 pm he would spend time talking to them. They did talk about what happens now. It was mostly women that came to him. They were afraid that Lithuanian guards would beat and terrorize them. Some people did not even use light the first fall after the military departed. Imagine, you would go down Green Street – the windows are covered with planks, the lighting kept on for a short period of time. Unpleasant. Like in Chechnya. At that time, we were the only ones with a phone. If anyone got sick or in case of a fire, everyone would run to us. Little by little, they had left, now, only seven mixed families remained. Lithuanian wife with a Russian husband.
There were periods when we had to live without heating. Only had electric heaters, while the meters couldn‘t sustain it. Only cold water running - on weekends we would go to bath in Kaunas. We were altruists, had to work without earning money while living poorly. I would never agree to it now. It seemed to be different back then. Now everything is for the sake of us, while we had never complained before.
It was still long that we had waited for explosions. A sense of security came much later, maybe three or four years later, when more people came to the village and settled in the apartments. Intense work began, we forgot ... In 1996 – the first school in Linksmakalnis was opened – it had only five first-graders... ” (2019)