Latvian journalist Ruslan Yefimov was sentenced to 60 hours of community service for justifying Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's deportations from the Baltic states in 1941, the Delfi internet portal said on Thursday.
The 35-year-old journalist pleaded guilty to "justifying genocide and crimes against humanity" after he called the deportations "a demonstration of the Soviet Union's excessive humanism" in an article published in June 2010.
Yefimov's article stated that the Soviet Union was too soft and inconsistent while carrying out mass deportations from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in 1941 and 1949.
On July 14, 1941 some 40,000 people were deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union. In 1949, Soviet authorities sanctioned Operation Priboi, disguised as military maneuvers, in which some 95,000 Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians labeled as "bourgeois nationalists" were deported.