VILNIUS, U.S.S.R., FEB. 8 -- Lithuanian officials voiced concern today, the eve of a defiant, non-binding plebiscite on independence, about newly announced Soviet military maneuvers starting Sunday.

The officials said Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis received a telegram late Thursday night from the Baltic military commander, Gen. Fyodor Kuzmin, saying that maneuvers in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will begin Sunday and continue for 10 days. No details about the number of troops involved or the precise sites of the maneuvers were provided, the officials said.

News of the maneuvers -- described as "team-staff instructions" in the terse telegram -- came as the pro-independence government reported an apparent increase today in military patrols and troop movements through Vilnius, where the Lithuanian parliament remains barricaded behind a maze of concrete blocks, coils of barbed wire and stacks of burlap sandbags.

Lithuanian officials said they are worried the military activity might be intended to scare voters away from participating in Saturday's non-binding vote on independence, which Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has condemned as lacking a "legal basis." Residency conditions effectively exclude Soviet troops from voting.

"They want to pressure us," Ceslonas Stankevicius, a Landsbergis aide, said of the military exercise.

For the first time in Soviet history, one of the country's republics is asking its citizens to vote on whether they want to become "independent and democratic" outside of the Soviet Union. Estonia is to hold a similar plebiscite March 3 and Latvia's parliament is expected to decide next week whether to stage its own.

The Baltic votes are aimed at preempting Gorbachev's March 17 referendum on a new treaty to hold the country together as a unified state. The Baltics oppose this national referendum because they do not recognize the legality of their 1940 annexation by Moscow and believe their participation would legitimize Soviet rule.

The Lithuanian poll is expected to yield a strong majority in favor of leaving the Soviet Union; about 80 percent of the republic's voters are ethnic Lithuanians and support independence. The other Baltic republics have larger Russian-speaking populations; in Latvia, nearly half of the population is from outside the republic, mostly from Russia.

The Baltic governments hope the polls will strengthen foreign support for their independence drives and reduce the odds that the Soviet military or other forces controlled by Moscow will attempt to oust them. Soviet troops and paramilitary units killed at least 19 Lithuanias and Latvians last month in actions viewed here and abroad as failed coups.

The polls are risky, though. It is not certain what views are held by Russian voters in Estonia and Latvia, where the local Communist parties say independence would lead to strong discrimination against them. An Estonian poll of several hundred Russian speakers showed about half supported a new treaty with Moscow, with the rest split between independence and indecision.

Baltic officials also fear anti-independence forces may try to block the votes or use them to fuel instability.

"Force and violence could be used before the referendum," said Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar earlier this week. "It would be more useful for Moscow to have no open {Estonian} referendum at all or that the referendum be held in unstable circumstances."

In Lithuania, the local Communist Party has called for a boycott of Saturday's poll. Juozas Jarmalavicius, the party's chief ideologist and spokesman for the shadowy pro-Moscow National Salvation Committee that tried to seize power last month, said in an interview that the wording of the poll is imprecise.