Jonas Variakojis

Jonas Variakojis (May 5, 1892 near Rinkuškiai (village) [lt], then the Kaunas Governorate, Russian Empire – October 31, 1963 in St. Charles, Illinois, United States) was a Lithuanian army officer.

Jonas Variakojis
Born(1892-05-05)May 5, 1892
DiedOctober 31, 1963(1963-10-31) (aged 71)

Early lifeEdit

Variakojis finished the Pärnu Gymnasium [et] in 1913 and later studied law at the University of St. Petersburg.[1]

World War IEdit

Variakojis finished studying at the Vladimir Military School in 1917 and he was mobilized into the Imperial Russian Army, being sent to the Austrian front on the Eastern Front during World War I.[1]

Lithuanian Wars of IndependenceEdit

In December 1918 he returned to Lithuania and joined the newly organized Lithuanian army, which was preparing to defend Lithuania against the Red Army during the Lithuanian–Soviet War. Variakojis was ordered to organize the Panevėžys Region Defence Unit (Lithuanian: Panevėžio srities apsaugos būrys), which later became the 4th Infantry Regiment. On February 7, 1919, he led the first Lithuanian battles against the Soviets near Kėdainiai. The Soviet advance was stopped, preventing them from capturing Lithuania's temporary capital, Kaunas. Variakojis with his unit continued to combat the Soviets. They were also deployed against Poland during the Polish–Lithuanian War.

For his distinguished services during the Lithuanian Wars of Independence, he was awarded several military orders, including the Order of the Cross of Vytis.


In 1926, he retired from active military duty. He briefly served as the Minister of Communications and Minister of Defense between 1928 and 1930.

After the Second World WarEdit

At the end of World War II, he retreated to Germany and then immigrated to the United States, where he died in 1963.



  • Simas Sužiedėlis, ed. (1970–1978). "Variakojis, Jonas". Encyclopedia Lituanica. VI. Boston, Massachusetts: Juozas Kapočius. p. 59. LCC 74-114275.
  • unknown (19 May 2021). "Panevėžio šlovės alėja: žymiausieji kraštiečiai".