Latvia is facing an ongoing scandal, as “People of Maidan” exposition outside the building of the Cabinet was destroyed earlier this week. The State Police launched criminal proceedings, with politicians demanding punishment for the “intruders,” EADaily’s correspondent reports.
It should be recalled that the “exhibition” in the center of Riga consisted of two information boards, several tires and the flag of the Right Sector national extremist organization. Tuesday, the Riga residents, who were outraged with the boom around Ukrainian extremists in their city, posted a video on the web. In the video footage, a man in mask destroys information boards, tears off the Right Sector flag and slices it.
In response, the author of the exhibition – an ethnic Ukrainian living in the United States – Sergey Melnikov (Melnikoff) says publicly that most of the Russians in Latvia should be exiled to Siberia in the carriages for cattle. Melnikov and another organizer of the event Sergey Alekseev say the “goal of the exhibition was to ‘teach the Baltic peoples how to kick out the occupants.’” “The organizer of the “People of Maidan” exhibition demands 500,000 EUR from the Riga Duma claiming that the municipal police do not protect him. ‘I’ll get half a million from the city’ – citation. Silly,” says Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs.
Meantime, Latvian politicians sympathize with Melnikov and Alekseev. The nationalists from VL-TB/LNNK posted on Twitter: “In broad daylight they destroyed the exhibition right outside the Cabinet of Ministers building. Those criminals must be arrested immediately.” Artis Pabriks, a member of the European Parliament, said on Twitter the destruction of the exhibition was predictable.
Later, a 22-year-old man residing in Zadvinje, Riga, was detained on suspicion of destroying the exhibition “People of Maidan”. He was put in short-term detention isolation ward. Afterwards, the court ordered putting him under surveillance. Later, the police detained another man, a 24-year-old citizen of Riga, again in Zadvinje, for slicing the Right Sector flag. He was detained while getting on a microbus to leave Latvia. He was taken into custody.
A group “Banderites, away from Latvia” was created on Facebook Thursday, on October 9, and 256 users joined it overnight. The organizers of the group demand that the exhibition “People of Maidan” is removed from the city and its organizers are deported from Latvia for propagating fascism and inter-ethnic discord. The creators of the group call on the users to share the post and get prepared for a large-scale protest action.