The new law would make it mandatory for municipalities to demolish all sites and objects “glorious under Soviet rule.”
Latvian parliament, Saima, aims to pass a new law requiring the destruction of all sites and objects. “Glory to the Soviet and Nazi regimes” In the territory of the country. The bill, which passed the first reading in Saima on Wednesday and is expected to be passed by June 16, will make it mandatory for local municipalities to dismantle Soviet monuments on their territory by the proposed November 15, 2022 deadline.
Under the proposed legislation, relevant local governments would be entitled to offer demolition of monuments regardless of site ownership and without coordination with the legal owner of the object or the land on which it is located.
The text of the bill estimates that there are currently about 300 monuments, commemorative plates and memorial sites dedicated to the Soviet Union that exist in Latvia and called on the Latvian cabinet to compile a list of items that would be demolished. End of July 2022.
The new law also applies to the “monument to the liberation of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German fascist invaders”, which was built in the Latvian capital in 1985 to commemorate the Soviet military victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
The monument falls under a Latvian-Russian treaty to preserve the monument. However, the Latvian parliament rescinded the agreement earlier this month, citing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Although the move was supported by a large majority of lawmakers, it sparked outrage among pro-Russian people in Latvia, as hundreds of people gathered outside Riga Town Hall on May 13 to protest the decision.
Several people, including three members of the Latvian Russian Union Party, were detained during the protests and charged with various crimes, including: “Minor bullying.”
The demolition of the Riga monument could cost up to 2 million, according to the city’s vice mayor, who said the project was already being prepared and construction companies were being contacted.
Latvian authorities, however, noted that the new law on the demolition of Soviet monuments did not include cemeteries and memorials erected for Soviet or Nazi victims.
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