A burned car marked with the warning “mines” sits along the road to Zelenyi Hai village, Ukraine, in November.

A burned car marked with the warning “mines” sits along the road to Zelenyi Hai village, Ukraine, in November. (Wojciech Grzedzinski/For The Washington Post)

(Tribune News Service) — Cars seized by Latvian authorities as part of drunk-driving violations are being shipped to Ukraine in an act of solidarity with the war-battered country.

Authorities in the Baltic nation, which began confiscating cars from motorists driving under the influence of alcohol in November, transported eight vehicles this week, the state revenue service said. They'll be used for the Ukrainian military and hospitals. As many as 200 more are awaiting transportation, it said.

The auto deliveries are the latest gesture of support from the nation of 1.9 million, which has been among the staunchest European Union member states backing Kyiv. Latvians have launched crowd funding campaigns for generators, chainsaws — and even drones — as the military ships missiles and ammunition.

"I believe that every activity in support — big or small — brings us closer to victory in this senseless war," Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens said in a statement this week on the decision to hand over the cars.

The Baltic region, which views its five decades under Soviet rule as an illegitimate occupation, has seen a steady surge of support for Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion began over a year ago.

The seized autos are being moved by a non-government organization, Agendum, which has been delivering donated cars for over a year.

Motorists who have a blood-alcohol level of three times the legal limit risk having their cars seized. Latvia's state revenue service showed a photo of cars on a transport prepared for delivery.

"The first car began their journey to Ukraine — and will no longer be driven by their former owners, drunk drivers," the agency said on Twitter.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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