The authorities of Latvia did not agree with Moscow on the reburial of the remains from the memorial with a military burial in the city of Jekabpils, although this is spelled out in an agreement between the governments of the countries of 2008. The Russian Embassy in Latvia reported on its Telegram channel that the dismantling took place on June 14.
“Contrary to the declared adherence to the letter of international obligations and all kinds of “European values”, the Latvian authorities continue to mock the memory of the Red Army soldiers who liberated the country from the Nazi yoke,” the message says.
We will not stand up for the price: Russian residents of Latvia protest against the “cancellation” on May 9
The Baltic States continue to fight the memory of the victory over fascism
During the demolition, the remains of three Soviet officers were found: the commander of the artillery of the 22nd Army of the 2nd Baltic Front, Major General Sergei Petrovich Kupriyanov and guard colonels Gavriil Kupriyanovich Sharikalov and Sakhabutdin Galyautdinovich Gazeev. They were removed from the earth, their further fate is unknown. With the help of heavy equipment, granite pylons were demolished, installed in memory of the units and Heroes of the Soviet Union, who liberated the city from the invaders.
The diplomats said that they had previously negotiated the memorial with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which promised to help organize a dialogue with the Jekabpils authorities in order to reach a compromise on the fate of the memorial site. However, the negotiations had no effect.
The permission for the demolition of the memorial was issued by the Jekabpils Regional Council and its chairman, Raivis Ragainis.
Latvian politician Janis Kuzins, in an interview with Izvestia, said that the Latvian parliament actually allowed the destruction of monuments.
“This not only happened in Jekabpils. They want to demolish the monuments in Riga, and so on. That is, Riga also decided to demolish the main monument, which is a symbol of victory over Nazi Germany. This orgy is now just being done, ”Cousins explained.
Local historian from Latvia Alexander Rzhavin said that the mass grave has been protected for the past 15 years, despite the fact that the memorial was a “thorn in the eye” of Latvian nationalists.
“Of course, in Soviet times, this grave was looked after, one of the most original original monuments was erected there on a mass grave, namely an artillery gun, because almost all of them buried there were related to artillery,” Rzhavin said.
On May 19, the executive director of the Foundation for the Support and Protection of the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad, the former Russian ambassador to Latvia, Alexander Udaltsov, said that the demolition of the monument to the Liberators of Riga could create a precedent, after which there will be many who want to repeat this. At the same time, the former ambassador noted that the mayors of some Latvian cities declare that they are not allowed to demolish monuments.
On the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia officially notified the Russian Embassy of the suspension of Article 13 of the bilateral treaty on memorial structures and monuments. Thus, the Latvian authorities unilaterally renounced their obligations to protect monuments to veterans of the Great Patriotic War. On May 12, the Saeima of Latvia adopted a bill that provides for the suspension of this bilateral agreement.
At the same time, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commenting on the decision of the Latvian Seimas, called the government of the country ghouls.