Hockey makes paint fly in St.Petersburg?

  • 2000-05-11
MOSCOW (BNS) - Several people May 7 threw four containers with black paint against the facade of the Latvian general consulate in St.Petersburg.

One of the offenders was detained and identified as Andrey Dmitriyev, a student. The young man also carried an ID of an assistant to a St. Petersburg legislative council member.

After being detained Dmitriyev said he had thrown paint at the building because he had heard that ice-hockey fans had thrown something against the Russian embassy in Riga after the World Championship game between national teams of both states in which the Latvians won.

The student said he also wanted to protest statements about Russia made recently by Latvian president Vaira-Vike Freiberga, general consulate representative Jakovs Kreilis told reporters.

A police patrol detained Dmitriyev when he tried to run away from the scene. The young man had rushed into an alley, hoping to escape out the other end but the passage turned out to be a dead end.

Kreilis said that one of the containers with paint had hit the frame of the consulate's entrance door, thus causing much damage to the building's facade.

The Latvian Embassy in Moscow will send a note to the Russian Foreign Ministry to complain about yet another attack on a Latvian diplomatic representation, Latvian Ambassador to Russia Imants Daudiss said May 8.

The note is likely to be handed over May 10, the next business day following Victory Day on May 9 which is a national holiday in Russia. In recent months Latvian representations have suffered from attacks by vandals several times.

In early March unidentified vandals threw several bottles with black substance at the building of the Latvian embassy. One of the bottles shattered an embassy window.

Last December unidentified villains smeared paint on the wall of the Latvian Embassy in Moscow and in mid-January this year several containers with black paint were thrown against the wall of the Latvian consulate general in St.Petersburg, damaging the building's outer appearance.

In early April a similar attack was made on the Latvian representation in Pskov. This time red paint was used.

Last week unidentified persons threw bottles filled with pungent liquid at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. The vandals also smashed several windows and smeared the embassy's facade. It is presumed that National Bolsheviks, a Russian extremist group that earlier claimed responsibility for the hooliganism at the Latvian embassy, is tied to the attack.