Police are investigating the repeat desecration of the Biķernieki memorial on the outskirts of Rīga, after 'Z' symbols associated with Russia's genocidal war in Ukraine were spray-painted on elements of the memorial just days after being removed.
Norberts Aleknavičš, monument care specialist of the Riga Monuments Agency, said the offending symbols should be fairly easy to remove as the paint was barely dry when they were discovered.
Meanwhile, the head of the State Police described the vandals as cowards.
"They acted in rather cowardly fashion here. They are not capable of anything more. In the dark hours of the night is when they show their 'heroism'. I would advise them to calm down, because there is a statutory responsibility for this," said Armands Ruks, head of the State Police.
So far, no one has been arrested, but the State Police are confident the cowardly vandals will be caught.
"One must be respectful to those people who lost their lives in a bloody war. And here there can be no tolerance from the State Police. It is certainly not the most complicated thing from a professional point of view. Apparently, people are very eager to get into trouble with the law. They should expect that we will do everything we can to catch them,” Ruks warned.
"We can't put a policeman at every single location, but here are the methods we're using to solve this issue," Ruks promised.
Riga Municipal Police will increase their patrols at the monument in an effort to prevent further repeats of the sickening action.
Last summer, the police started criminal proceedings for the desecration of the Holocaust Memorial in Riga, Biķernieki Forest. At that time, social media showed that the letters "SS" were painted on one of the fragments of the memorial. During the Second World War, about 46,000 people were killed and buried in mass graves in Biķernieki Forest.