Support The Moscow Times!

War 'Hero' Dies

RIGA, Latvia — Vasily Kononov, who fought for the Soviets during World War II but a half-century later was convicted of war crimes in his native Latvia, has died. He was 89.

Kononov died Thursday, the Russian Consulate in the city of Daugavpils said. The cause of death was not clear.

In 1998, Kononov was found guilty by a Latvian court of ordering the killing of nine civilians in 1944 and sentenced to 20 months in prison. The verdict was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in May 2010.

Many Russians consider Kononov a war hero and slammed the Latvian and EU rulings against him as a witch hunt targeting a sick and elderly man. Kononov was granted Russian citizenship in 2000 by then-President Vladimir Putin, but he chose not to leave Latvia.


… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more