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Latvia Jails Activist 3 Years for Pro-Russian Memorabilia – Reports

Elena Kreile. press.lv

A court in Latvia has sentenced a pro-Kremlin activist to three years in prison for publicly displaying Russian and Soviet flags, media reported Wednesday.

Jelena Kreile has previously been seen wearing pro-war symbols and holding pro-Russian signs at anti-war rallies in the Latvian capital of Riga. The Latvian-born housewife, who only speaks Russian, faces 15 administrative cases for using banned symbols in public, according to the Riga-based investigative project Re:Baltica.

The Riga City Court found Kreile guilty of publicly praising and justifying Russian war crimes in Ukraine as well as the Soviet Union’s deportations from Latvia and other crimes against the Baltic country, said the news portal Delfi.

Prosecutors had requested a 3.5-year prison sentence for Kreile, whose five days served in detention would count toward her three-year sentence.

Kreile denies her guilt and can appeal the verdict with the Riga Regional Court.

Last fall, the court handed Kreile a one-year suspended sentence on similar charges in a separate criminal case.

Latvia designated Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” and downgraded diplomatic ties with Moscow after it invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Around a quarter of the population of Latvia, which became an EU and NATO member a decade and a half after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, is made up of ethnic Russians.

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