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Price of liberty: ‘Sober’ US soldiers fined $400 for urinating on Freedom Monument in Latvia

Price of liberty: ‘Sober’ US soldiers fined $400 for urinating on Freedom Monument in Latvia
Some US troops who come to Latvia for drills don’t seem to have too much respect for their hosts, as two of them were caught peeing on the landmark Freedom Monument in Riga. They were stone-cold sober while doing so.

The surveillance center of the Riga Municipal Police noticed two men urinating on the Freedom Monument in the center on the city on March 8. Patrolling officers were immediately sent on site and detained the perpetrators.

When their papers were checked it turned out that those responsible for the bizarre act were American troops, who arrived in the country for wargames. Latvia had been hosting NATO’s Dynamic Front exercises between March 2 and 9. 

Their motivation for using a 42-meter-tall monument as a toilet is yet unclear. But Riga police spokesman, Toms Sadovskis , told LETA news agency that the US servicemen were sober during the act.

However, the wrongdoers didn’t escape punishment as each of them was slapped with a fine of a whole €400 (around $454) before being let go.

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Understanding that the Latvian public may find the penalty insufficient, Defense Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins promised that the soldiers will also face sanctions from the US Army, which “will probably be much harsher.” However, there has been no confirmation to that so far.

The Freedom Monument was erected in Riga in 1935 to honor the troops who died in the Latvian War of Independence between 1918 and 1920. It’s one of the most important monuments in the country and a traditional venue for official ceremonies and public gatherings in the capital.

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