A hero's medals could put him behind bars

  • 1998-08-27
  • By Katya Cengel
RIGA - Vasiliy Kononov was used to being treated like a hero. Born in Latvia in 1923 he was commander of a unit of Red Partisans by the age of 21. During World War II, he was decorated as a hero and a liberator. After the war he went on to a successful career in the Soviet militia. By the time he retired in 1988, he had reached the rank of colonel and had been chief of the Latvian transport militia for seven years.In public he boasted of his "heroic" deeds. In memoirs he wrote of how he killed "fascists" and "traitors" during WW II. Fellow partisans described how the unit Kononov was in cha...
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