Two women suffer in tram accident, 15 fined in "Victory Day" event

The police have issued 15 fines for minor violations at the Uzvaras park in Rīga on May 9 where members of Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the end of World War II and the role of the Soviet Union in victory over Nazi Germany.

That is compared to 27 fines issued last year at the same event.

Most of the administrative fines were issued for being inebriated in a public place, while two people were found not to have declared their place of residence. One attendee was found to have used drugs, another was fined for misdemeanor and yet another for using symbols of the Soviet Union. 

LETA likewise reports that on May 9 two women were injured after being run over by a tram near the celebration. They were seriously injured but conscious as an ambulance stationed nearby took them to the hospital. 

Organizer estimates put the number of attendees at 115 to 120 thousand by 9.30 p.m., while the traditional "Immortal Walk" drew about 2,000 people according to the LETA news agency.

May 9 events in Rēzekne and Daugavpils likewise drew large crowds.

Known as "Victory Day" to some, May 9 remains a divisive date in Latvia. While many ethnic Russians, who make up around a quarter of the population, see it as a day of commemoration and celebration, most ethnic Latvians have a different view, seeing it as the start of a second, harsh 50-year Soviet occupation.

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