Flowers in a monument to the Soviet Union are causing a political crisis in Latvia

The Latvian government is in a political crisis after two days of protests by Russian Latvians at a Soviet monument and after Parliament decided to demolish the monument.

Last Monday and Tuesday, groups of Russian-speaking citizens dropped wreaths on the monumentwhich celebrates the victory of the Soviet Union in World War II, contrary to police recommendations.

The National Union (NA, Center Right), one of the four parties in the government coalition led by Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Marija Golubeva and threatened to resign from the executive. NA accuses Marija Golubeva, a member of the Liberal Development Platform (APar), of resigning because she allowed the celebration of the Soviet victory on Monday to be celebrated, even though gatherings next to the monument were banned.

The flowering continued the next day, Tuesday, when some of the participants illuminated Soviet symbols and sang songs from the former Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), while some responded to protesters protesting against and supporting Ukraine.

“What all Latvian loyalists were forced to see in their own country on May 9 and 10 is unacceptable,” said NA President Raivis Dzintars in a statement emphasizing “promises of correction.”

The resignation of the government’s NA would mean the resignation of the ministers of economy, culture and agriculture, and an alliance loyal to Karins would get only 35 out of 100 members of parliament in the Riga parliament. At the same time, all members of the alliance voted in favor of suspending several clauses in the agreement with Russia, which guaranteed the protection of monuments in both countries. The suspension was adopted by 68 votes to 17.

This decision will allow Latvia to demolish the Riga Monument and many others in the small Baltic state of 1.9 million.

On social media, opponents of the memorial, which many Latvians say praise the Baltic Soviet occupation instead of commemorating the defeat of Nazism, called for a demonstration to demand its demolition on May 20th.

The events of May 10 apparently originated from videos appearing on social media in which a “bulldozer” collects and destroys flower presents left the previous day.

Although municipal representatives referred to “normal practice,” the images offended hundreds of members of Russia’s Orthodox ethnic minority, about 25 percent of the country’s population, who returned to the site to exchange wreaths and demonstrate before disintegration. by the police early in the evening.

Some of the participants said in television statements that the war in Ukraine should have started earlier, while others called the Ukrainians and their supporters “Nazis,” the EFE news agency reported.

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