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9. maijā visā Latvijā pastiprināti uzraudzīs drošību

Police presence to be felt on May 9 in Latvia

On Thursday, May 9, the State Police will be working in a reinforced mode and no provocations will be tolerated, police repeatedly stated to Latvian Television.

"The State Police has developed an action plan, of course, order will be ensured. Police officers will be visible in greater numbers, we will reinforce the number of police officers in Latgale. I have no doubt that if [someone] fails to create provocative situations on the spot, there will be clips on Instagram, but the police will not allow provocations. Democracy is strong and our police force will demonstrate this on May 9," said Ainars Latkovskis, chair of the National Security Committee of the Saeima.

On Wednesday, May 8, security risks were discussed at the committee which was also attended by State Police Chief Armands Ruks, who stressed that no glorification of Russian aggression or war crimes would be tolerated.  

The police will reinforce security and order in Riga's Uzvaras Park where formerly the largest 'celebrations' took place, the Salaspils Memorial and Daugavpils' Dubrovina Park, together with representatives of the special services. 

Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said that there were currently no reports of gatherings, but individual provocations could not be ruled out.

Ruks added that the police are aware that "May 9 starts at midnight, so we are already working in a reinforced mode". "For two years, more than that, war has been raging in Ukraine, and only a person with no understanding of values can support it; we do not expect the kind of flows that preceded the war in Ukraine," Ruks said.

On May 9, public entertainment and festive events, parades, and pickets aimed at denigrating and undermining Latvia's values as a democratic and national state are not allowed in Latvia. The laying of flowers at the sites of Soviet monuments that have now been dismantled in Latvia will be regarded as glorifying these objects and military aggression, and such actions will not be tolerated.

The services have also identified known provocators and pro-Kremlin individuals.  The police also promised to monitor the internet environment..

Andris Zellis, Deputy Chief of the State Police, told Latvian Radio's "Afternoon" program on May 8 that the police are ready to monitor and ensure public order also the day before and the days after May 9. For those who are thinking about laying flowers, he advised them to go to the cemetery and lay flowers there, as it is not forbidden, but not to gather and praise criminal regimes, as it is forbidden and the police reaction will be strict.

In response to Russia's malicious actions in other European countries, the State Security Service (VDD) has repeatedly warned that provocations are also possible in Latvia. Therefore, the Service has already reinforced the protection of Latvia's critical infrastructure.

Since last year, the Service has detected a number of malicious activities organized by Russian special services against various facilities in Latvia.  

According to the VDD, the purpose of the malicious activities is to put psychological pressure on senior European officials and the public in order to achieve decisions in line with Russian interests, including the reduction of support for Ukraine.

In Europe, the end of World War II is marked on May 8. On May 8, 1945, Allied forces adopted the unconditional capitulation of Nazi Germany, thus formally ending nearly six years of World War II in Europe. After the German occupation, Latvia ended up under another occupation – the Soviet occupation.

Meanwhile, in Russia, the destruction of the Nazi German regime is remembered on May 9, and in Latvia some people considered the day to be celebratory. Festive and entertainment events that do not correspond to national security interests, glorify military aggression, falsely reflect historical events, and use pyrotechnics have been banned since May 9 last year.

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