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Members of the far-left ‘Other Russia’ movement of Eduard Limonov attacked the Latvian Consulate General in St. Petersburg last night (May 29), throwing smoke grenades and flares at the building and flying a Soviet Union flag from the façade, reports Korrespondent.net.
The ‘Other Russia’ activists were demanding the release of Beness Aijo from jail, chanting, "Freedom to Beness!", "Russian Spring in Latvia!" and other such slogans, and scattering leaflets.
The leaflets state: "Beness Aijo is accused of helping the attempts to restore the Soviet Union, thus violating the ‘independence’ of the pseudo-country of Latvia. At the same time, nostalgia for the Soviet Union is increasing in Latvia's society. In fact, Beness expressed, although in a radical way, ideas that a significant part of Latvia's residents are thinking about."
Latvian Consul General in St. Petersburg Aivars Groza told LETA that the consulate had handed in a note to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the attack on the consulate building.
"Last night at about 1:45 a.m., yet-unidentified persons dropped a burning object at the Consulate General in St. Petersburg, shouted several slogans, including ‘Freedom to Beness!’, and scattered leaflets, titled ‘Freedom to the Black Lenin!’, and then left the scene," said Groza.
In the note submitted to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Consulate General is requesting that security of the consulate and its employees be ensured.
Groza said that two or three persons participated in the event at the Consulate General, adding that the building had not sustained any noteworthy damage.
The Latvian Security Police have started a criminal process against Aijo for incitement to violently overthrow the government of Latvia and change the political system, as well as to liquidate Latvia's national independence.
Aijo is currently remanded in custody. He was detained at the Riga Airport after arriving on a flight from Ukraine on May 14.
This is the second case started against Aijo for inciting people to violently overthrow the government and alter the political system.
The Security Police initially opened a criminal case against the National Bolsheviks in December 2004, after evaluating a letter received at the newspaper Diena from Aijo on Oct. 17, 2004, that, the Security Police said, included incitement to overthrow the government.
In the above-mentioned letter, Aijo expressed hostile views against Latvian law enforcement institutions, the Latvian president, the government and the Riga City Council. The letter was not printed in Diena.
Aijo was initially handed down a nine-month prison sentence for his crime; however, this decision was appealed in 2005. He was later handed down a 9,600 lats (13,700 euros) fine by the Supreme Court.