Latvia, Germany detain people during WW2 Victory Day celebrations — RT World News

Authorities in both NATO countries intercepted individuals displaying Soviet and Russian symbols on May 9

Latvian police have arrested 19 people for displaying banned Soviet and Russian symbols during Victory Day celebrations on May 9 across the country. While victory over Nazi Germany is celebrated in the West on May 8, commemorative events and military parades are traditionally held in the Soviet Union the following day.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were once Soviet socialist republics of the USSR, but this period of their history is now officially considered a foreign occupation; As a result, there are laws in place that make most Soviet symbols prohibited. The three Baltic states have removed a number of World War II memorials since declaring their independence in 1991.

Authorities have launched two criminal investigations into the case, Jauns media reported, citing Latvian police “Justification for genocide, crime against peace and war crimes.”

One man was reportedly detained for “Listen to music loudly” At the Salaspils Memorial, site of a Nazi concentration camp near Riga. Russia's RT channel, citing an eyewitness, said the man was listening to a popular Soviet song called “Zhuravli” (Cranes), which was written in the late 1960s and dedicated to fallen soldiers in World War II.

Other violations discovered by Latvian officers across the country included attempts to place flowers on dismantled war memorial sites as well as cars bearing Soviet symbols.

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, a number of other European countries have imposed similar restrictions, also including several symbols related to Russia. These include the flags of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, as well as the Latin letters Z and V, which have come to symbolize Moscow's military campaign against Ukraine. The St George ribbon – a popular symbol of Victory Day celebrations in Russia in recent years – is also banned in a number of European countries.

A group of bikers wearing T-shirts and jackets bearing the insignia of the “Night Wolves” biker club arrived at Berlin's Treptower Park on Thursday, where a large Soviet war memorial is located. According to Bild newspaper, there was a heavy police presence at the site, with officers checking people for prohibited symbols and clothing that included historic military uniforms and the St. George ribbon. Media reported that a total of ten people were arrested on various charges. The article claimed that some people were able to smuggle prohibited items through the police cordon, and some of them reportedly insulted officers as well.

Commenting on the ban imposed by the Berlin authorities, during a press conference on Wednesday in Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the matter as another manifestation of the West. “Cancel culture.”

“They are also banning the songs that Red Army soldiers sang during the liberation of Berlin… Is this normal?” the diplomat asked. Zakharova added that such a ban is the true face of… “Liberal democracy.”

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged the Berlin authorities to lift the restrictions “Stop rewriting history.”

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