Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 32

The Riga district court yesterday was forced to adjourn sine die the criminal trial of the ex-USSR’s OMON troopers. (See Monitor, February 16) Only ten out of fifteen defendants appeared in court. Four others were reported to have vanished just before the court date, and another one was in the hospital. Latvian police are now looking for the missing four. Another forty-eight accused are in Russia, whose authorities have refused to extradite them for trial.

After its last attempt to crack down in Latvia during the August 1991 putsch, the 200-strong unit moved to Russia’s Tyumen region. A deputy commander of the unit, Sergei Parfyonov, was extradited in 1993 and sentenced to prison in Latvia, to an outcry from the Russian Communist-nationalist opposition. The Russian government refused to extradite other accused troopers afterward. The OMON unit’s current commander, Valery Brovkin, told Russian TV yesterday that "our aims [in Latvia] were to restore the bodies of power which had existed before perestroika and to stop the collapse of the Soviet Union." (BNS, Russian agencies, Russian TV, February 16)

IMF Funding for Moldova Postponed Again.