Latvians living both in the country and abroad began to receive notifications of the initiation of administrative proceedings against them because of the fasts in honor of the Victory Day. According to the citizens of Latvia themselves in social networks, the amount of fines is up to €350.
“Judging by the many publications, the mailing of letters is of a mass nature: most likely, at least dozens of Latvian residents received them,” the Delfi portal reports.
The publication cites several messages from people who received the relevant notifications. According to them, the State Police of the Republic refers to the monitoring of social networks carried out by the employees of the State Security Service.
In turn, the press secretary of the State Police, Simona Gravite, confirmed this information, but refused to comment or clarify anything. “We will refrain from commenting on the numbers and any other related information,” she said.
As stated in the material, cases are initiated under articles prohibiting the display of Soviet symbols in public places – in particular, we are talking about a five-pointed red star and a St. George ribbon – in order to “glorify the Soviet totalitarian regime” or “military aggression”.
At the same time, the definition of a public place in the legislation in force in Latvia does not contain a clause on a personal page in social networks, notes Delfi.
Social network users said that they receive notifications, among other things, due to the publication of postcards with congratulations on Victory Day, which contain Soviet symbols.
For her part, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commented on the situation.
“The dictatorship of liberalism with Nazi roots,” she wrote in her Telegram channel.
The Russian Union of Latvia called the actions of local security forces illegal and called on the victims to appeal them. The Latvian authorities are counting on the refusal to celebrate the Victory Day in a few years In Latvia, they may stop celebrating the Victory Day on May 9 in a couple of years. Such hope… 10 May 12:31
“Shameful actions of the authorities”
Recall that in April 2023, the Saeima of Latvia adopted a law prohibiting the holding of any public events on May 9, with the exception of celebrations on the occasion of Europe Day. As explained by the police, laying flowers at the places of dismantled Soviet monuments is considered their “glorification” and threatens to be held accountable.
This law, according to its authors, is aimed at “protecting the interests of state and public security, preventing disorder, protecting the health and morals of the population”, preventing a threat to the democratic values of Latvia, as well as “false reporting of historical events”, since Riga perceives its presence in the USSR as an “occupation” by the Soviet Union.
It was also assumed that the adoption of such an initiative would express solidarity with Ukraine, writes RBC.
In 2022, the Saeima of Latvia declared May 9 the Day of Remembrance of civilians and Ukrainian servicemen who died during the hostilities in Ukraine. Commenting on this decision by Riga, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov expressed the hope that “those Latvians who remember history will keep pride in the Victory in their hearts, despite the shameful actions of their authorities.”
“To eradicate the celebration of Victory Day”
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Latvia, on May 9 this year, 26 people were detained, 38 administrative cases were initiated. The most common violations were the laying of flowers at the places where the dismantled Soviet monuments were located, as well as the wearing of the St. George ribbon.
Against this background, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that in honor of Europe Day he “heartily welcomes” all Europeans, “especially Ukrainians”:
“Celebrating Europe Day, I cordially greet all Europeans and especially all Ukrainians who value our common values – freedom, democracy and human rights. We want Ukraine to become a member of the EU as soon as possible,” he wrote on Twitter. According to him, Riga “supports the Ukrainians in their attempts to protect Europe.”
Later, the Minister of the Interior of Latvia, Maris Kuchinskis, stated that within a few years the country would “manage to eradicate the celebration of May 9 Victory Day.” “A few more years and we will be able to completely remove the red color from May 9,” he said, noting that “changes in the minds of people are happening slowly.”