Member of group guarding Soviet monuments detained in Latvia

On Monday, the Latvian State Security Service (VDD) detained Alexander Zhgun, a member of the Night Watch group, created to protect Soviet monuments to be demolished.

Photo: The Monument to the Liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German Fascist Invaders. A former memorial complex in the Latvian capital Riga. In fact, a monument to the Soviet occupation of the country. Demolished on August 22 – 25, 2022. @EPA

On Tuesday, the Riga City Court, at the request of the VDD, imposed a preventive measure of detention against Alexander Zhgun. The court’s decision may be appealed to the Riga District Court in the coming days.

This was reported by the Delfi portal.

The State Security Service of Latvia has not yet reported what exactly Zhgun is charged with.

But the day before, Russian media wrote that Zhgun, who had previously actively opposed the demolition of monuments, was detained on his way to work and then taken home, where he was searched.

Zhgun is a member of the Night Watch, a group organized by the Russian Union of Latvia party to protect Soviet monuments. Some of them have been subject to demolition since last year according to the law.

Soviet monuments and, accordingly, the activists who defend them are one of the means of Russia’s hybrid influence in its confrontation with Western countries.

In March, the Latvian Prosecutor General’s Office issued a second warning to the Russian Union of Latvia for spreading Kremlin narratives, and if the violations recurred, its activities may be banned by the court.

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