Conflicts & War

Latvia calls for demolition of Soviet memorial after ‘disorderly gathering’

Riga, Latvia, May 11 (EFE).- Latvia on Wednesday called for a Soviet-era Victory Day monument in Riga to be demolished following a gathering at the controversial site led by a group of mainly Russian speakers a day earlier.

The group gathered at the monument shouting pro-Russian slogans and singing Soviet songs throughout Tuesday before riot police dispersed the crowd later in the evening.

“It is clear that this monument must be torn down. The ministry of defense cannot do this by itself,” Latvia’s defense minister and acting prime minister, Artis Pabriks, told reporters on Wednesday.

“Latvia should have a zero tolerance for Putinism, but we cannot arrest everyone who supports Putin,” he added.

Pabriks said that the “disorderly gathering” was called for after a video of a bulldozer removing flowers laid at the monument the previous day was posted on social media, angering ethnic Latvians.

A parliamentary debate on ending a treaty with Russia that protects war memorials has been set for Thursday. EFE


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