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Riga dismantles the last Soviet monument

2022-05-13T17:07:53.361Z

The city council of Riga decided on Friday May 13 to dismantle a giant monument to the glory of the Red Army, the last dating from the era...



The city council of Riga decided on Friday May 13 to dismantle a giant monument to the glory of the Red Army, the last dating from the Soviet era and the subject of controversy in this former republic of the USSR.

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The city council has also instructed the Municipal Monuments Agency to organize the dismantling of this 79-meter-high monument.

The demolition work will not be cheap, because the monument is made of reinforced concrete and consists of several giant sculptures

,” said Martins Stakis, mayor of Riga, during the debates.

The monument was built between 1979 and 1985 to commemorate the victory of the Soviet army over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Every year, thousands of Russians in Latvia who constitute about 30% of the population gather on May 9 to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Most Latvians perceive this date as the beginning of a difficult Soviet occupation of almost 50 years which ended in 1991. Almost all monuments and plaques from the Soviet era, except those located in the cemeteries of soldiers, were removed in 1991, the monument in Riga being protected by on the basis of a 1994 treaty between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation.

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"

Indignant

"

On Thursday, the Latvian parliament voted to amend this treaty, which deprived the monument of legal protection.

In a tweet, the Russian Embassy in Riga said Thursday "

outraged

" by this step "

treacherous and unjustified which has no moral or legal basis

".

In 1997, a group of volunteers tried to demolish the monument with dynamite but the explosion went off prematurely, killing two of the volunteers.

Later, several petitions reached the necessary threshold of 10,000 signatures in favor of the demolition, but each time the authorities rejected the proposal.

Dismantling debates resumed immediately after the Russian attack on Ukraine, especially after the discovery of mass graves in Boutcha.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-05-13

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