Rīga City Council orders demolition of 'Victory' monument

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At an emergency meeting on Friday, May 13, the Riga City Council decided to instruct the Rīga Monuments Agency to perform all the necessary activities for the dismantling of the Soviet monument at Uzvaras Park.

The decision of the local government follows a day after the Saeima lifted legal barriers to the demolition of the monument.

39 deputies of the Riga City Council voted in favor of the draft decision, while 13 were against it.

Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis said that with this council decision, Rīga Monuments Agency will also have to identify the costs of demolition of the monument, indicating that it will “not be cheap”.

Staķis said that the demolition of the Uzvaras Park monument is not only a Rīga matter but a national one. Many people have said they do not want to see Soviet monuments associated with the USSR or Russia.

Vice Mayor Vilnis Ķirsis (“New Unity”) expressed the opinion that this monument glorifies the Red Army, which occupied Latvia twice. Many Latvians, therefore, call it an occupation monument. It also glorifies the war crimes of the Soviet heiress – Russia – in Ukraine, and there is no place for this monument in Latvia. A similar opinion was expressed by Riga Vice Mayor Edvards Smiltēns (Latvian Regional Alliance), calling on everyone involved to work to dismantle the monument as soon as possible.

During the meeting of the Riga City Council, the deputies of the opposition party Harmony and the Latvian Russian Union (LKS) asked a number of questions about the planned demolition of the monument, as well as expressed their dissatisfaction with these plans.


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