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Molotov cocktail thrown inside Latvian Occupation Museum

Overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window into the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, the museum's director Solvita Vība confirmed.

Vība said that at about 1 o'clock in the morning someone had smashed her office window with a hammer and then thrown a Molotov cocktail or similar incendiary device inside. An explosion ensued.

At the time of the explosion, only security guards were in the museum and no one has suffered. Immediately afterward, museum management and responsible services also arrived at the scene.

"We arrived at the scene with our colleagues. Already there was the State Fire and Rescue Service, the State Police, representatives of State Real Estate, all of us were on site,” Vība said.

She said the perpetrator had been well prepared with a mask covering the face. This can be seen in CCTV footage, which is not yet planned to be made public. The director said the museum's stock had not been affected by the fire. What happened has caused some moral damage, but the museum wants to convey a message that such provocations and intimidation will not work.

The museum continues to work as usual on Wednesday. 

"I hope the perpetrator will be found soon. I think it was a planned attack on the Occupation Museum. I want to emphasize that we continue our work," Vība said.

Police have initiated an investigation but no more comments are being provided at the moment.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs called the attack a hybrid provocation today and believes the security services will catch those responsible.

"To simply show that this type of provocation will not be tolerated. And then I also hope that the moment the perpetrators are caught, then the justice system will also respond adequately and there will be harsh punishments for those who implement these kinds of provocations," the President said.

Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) added that under the current geopolitical conditions, every such case should be treated with special care. The Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) also considers the investigation of such events as a priority.

The museum has been attacked several times in recent years. The former KGB building ('Corner House') which houses part of the museum's exhibit, has also been under attack.

The Museum records and explains the events and history of Latvia's periods under both Soviet and Nazi occupation.


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