Since the Russian Federation armed forces invasion in Ukraine VDD has initiated seven criminal proceedings in relation to glorification and acquittal of crimes committed by Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine, triggering of hatred against Ukrainian population as well as crimes committed by Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine.
VDD already informed the public about initiating three criminal proceedings since 24 February: one pursuant to Section 741 of Criminal Law (acquittal of genocide, crime against humanity, crime against peace and war crime acquittal) and Section 78 of Criminal Law (triggering national hatred or enmity), another pursuant to Section 78 of Criminal Law and third pursuant to Section 741 of Criminal Law.
On 16 March VDD initiated three new criminal proceedings: two pursuant to Sections 741 and 78 of Criminal Law, and one pursuant to Section 78 of Criminal Law. The criminal proceedings have been initiated in relation to statements of some persons in the internet environment, which glorify and acquit crimes committed by Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine. In addition these posts aim at triggering national hatred against Ukrainian population.
VDD is currently assessing several other cases.
VDD recalls that on 15 March it launched criminal proceedings also for war crimes and crimes against humanity and peace committed by Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine (pursuant to Sections 712, 72 and 74 of Criminal Law). Within the said criminal proceedings VDD is acknowledging Ukrainian war refugees, who have either recorded Russia’s armed forces’ crimes in photo, audio or video formats, or who can verbally testify about such crimes. According to information at VDD disposal the crimes committed by Russia’s armed forces are obvious and unquestionable. For acquitting, glorifying, denying or grossly trivialising these crimes Latvian legislation stipulates criminal liability.
VDD continues to implement measures for information space protection. On 14 March VDD provided to the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) a list with internet websites which disseminate blatant disinformation about the events in Ukraine and state support to Russia’s aggression. VDD suggested to NEMMC to ensure that these websites are blocked in Latvian territory. NEMMC has examined this suggestion and decided to block these websites.
Every day VDD reviews hundreds of posts, comments and videos that are published on the internet, where there are indications about stating support to Russia. Each case is assessed individually. When the analysis does not reveal grounds for initiating criminal proceedings pursuant to Criminal Law, VDD conducts preventative measures to prevent potential threat, including interviews with involved persons, during which they are warned about the liability for glorifying and acquitting war crimes and crimes against humanity and peace. Until now, VDD has issued warning to about 100 persons.
The public activity of political party "Latvijas Krievu savienība" has also come to VDD’s attention. VDD has issued a warning to the party for the incompatibity of its activities with Latvia’s national security interests and international law.
Information prepared by VDD