150,000 attend Soviet Victory Day

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About 150,000 people attended the May 9 events in Uzvaras (Victory) park, the State Police told the press. 

Guntars Marķitāns, a representative of the State Police, told Latvian Radio that May 9 events in Rīga were held peacefully and were attended by less people than last year.

The police detained a total of 23 people at the event. Six of them were found to be intoxicated in public, several were held on petty hooliganism charges, one cyclist was found to be intoxicated, while another person was taken to a homeless shelter.

On May 9 large numbers of people laid flowers in the shadow of the enormous Soviet Victory Memorial to a soundtrack of wartime songs.

The event, not a public holiday, is not celebrated by Latvia's Latvian majority which generally views Soviet "liberation" as the start of a second, 45-year occupation by Moscow.

The events lasted until 11 p.m. when the crowd reportedly started to disperse.

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