Latvia removes monument honoring Soviet victory over Nazis

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Latvian authorities on Tuesday began destroying a monument in the capital Riga commemorating the victory of Soviet troops over the Nazis in World War II.

Workers have removed several bronze statues from this monument, protected by a screen and under the close surveillance of the Police, who have been deployed in the area to avoid possible incidents.

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A resolution of the Latvian Parliament provides for the disappearance by November 15 of any monument honoring totalitarian regimes. The text refers specifically to the Riga facility, erected in 1985, although it is not yet clear what will happen to a 79-meter high pillar.

The monument has also traditionally served as a rallying place for ethnic Russians every May 9, Victory Day. About 25 percent of the Latvian population is ethnic Russian.

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