Man accused of war support in Rēzekne, Latvia

The State Police (VP) has opened criminal proceedings for support of war crimes against a man who repeatedly placed red and white carnations on the site of the demolished "Alyosha" monument in Rēzekne, VP said May 3.

Initially, the police started administrative offense proceedings for glorifying military aggression, but after questioning the person, they decided to reclassify it as a criminal offense, the VP said.

In the first episode on March 15 this year, the unnamed person put down seven red carnations, in the second episode on April 6, the person put down three white carnations, and in the third episode on April 14, he put down five red carnations.

Administrative proceedings were initiated in each of these cases. During the investigation, the VP established both the identity of the person and that the same person was involved in all episodes.

After examining the evidence provided by the man born in 1976, it was decided to reclassify the administrative offense proceedings and merge them into one criminal proceeding for justification of genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes (Article 74.1(1) of the Criminal Law). The penalty for this offense is imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or temporary imprisonment, or probation supervision, or community service, or a fine.

The VP reminds the public that on May 9, when Russians celebrate the so-called 'Victory Day', public entertainment and festive events, gatherings, marches, and pickets that are against the interests of national security, divide society, falsely depict history and question solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The security situation and public order throughout Latvia will be monitored by the services on a reinforced basis on May 9.

The VP also calls on the public to be critical of provocative statements in the information space and to avoid reacting to them, including calls to lay flowers at the former sites of Soviet monuments in various cities, as this could be interpreted as glorification of war crimes.

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