Latvia's Russians mark Soviet Victory Day

Tens of thousands of members of Latvia's Russian minority have been making their way to Uzvaras (Victory) park in Riga's Pardaugava district Monday to mark May 9, Soviet Victory Day.

Large numbers of people laid flowers in the shadow of the enormous Soviet Victory Memorial to a soundtrack of wartime songs.

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

It is not a public holiday.

A heavy police presence attempted to keep traffic moving as much as possible while patrols stalked the park nearby to discourage people drinking in public.

Several lower-key official events on the other side of the River Daugava ware being held to mark Europe Day instead.

May 8 saw Prime Minister and other dignitaries paying tribute to the victims of World War II.

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