Daugavpils has 452 streets. Last year, the Society “Center for Public Memory” called on Daugavpils to eliminate 15 street names linked to Soviet times, such as the streets named after Pushkin and Otomārs Oškalns, a member of the Communist party.
Within a year, Daugavpils has not decided on renaming any streets. One reason is that locals, much of whom are Russian-speaking, do not demand it or care.
Daugavpils resident Māris: "What's wrong with Pushkin? Poet, writer. Doesn't mean much to me. Can't say about the other street. They don't bother me."
Daugavpilian Ivans: "If there is money then please change. Well, let's change if there's a financial opportunity. I don't care."
Daugavpilian Anita: “I'm so sorry that in the 90s we didn't do what had to be done. Yesterday, for example, while on public transport in Daugavpils, I heard Russian-speaking guys laughing at Grodņas Street. If the Russian-speaking guys were laughing at a street like that, Grodņa [after Belarusian city Grodno], I think, why are we hesitating? ”
Meanwhile, City Council Chairman Andrejs Elksniņš believes this municipality was historically one of the first to change the names of streets that glorified the regime, and now there are no streets like this.
"The municipality has already decided a year in advance that there is no basis for any change, and all the more so, as far as I can see, they are discussing replacing the names of Zeļinska Street, Strādnieku [Workers'] Street and Oškalna Street. There is no basis for this,” Elksnins said.
Public Memory Center says that apart from Daugavpils there are several other municipalities that do not change names – Rēzekne, Ventspils, and Jūrmala.
According to the center's historian Didzis Šēnbergs discussions and funding for changing street names would be facilitated by a specific law. However, a bill submitted to Parliament that foresaw the replacement of the names of the Communist regime and streets granted during the Russification process is stuck for an unknown time.
Liberation from Soviet-era heritage across Latvia actively resumed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Several dozen objects dedicated to the Soviet army have been dismantled throughout Latvia and many streets renamed, and monuments have also been dismantled.