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Moscow awaiting world community reaction to SS veterans march in Latvia

Russia hopes the international community will give a principled assessment to the march of Waffen SS division veterans and their accomplices in Riga, Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"The Latvian authorities continue conniving one year after another at these marches, which are shameful for a contemporary country that is a member-state of the EU," she said. "This time the deputies representing the parliamentary coalition caringly guarded the individuals, who are stained with the blood of thousands of civilians."

"Their supporters from neighboring Lithuania and Estonia, as well as from Ukraine joined them," Zakharova said.

She dismissed the attempts to show the Waffen SS legion soldiers as 'freedom fighters' and the 'victims of the Latvian people's tragedy' during World War II as especially shameful acts.

"Russia has more than once come up with public assessments of these shameful gatherings that glorify the soldiers of the SS Latvian volunteer legion," Zakharova said. "We proceed from the conviction that any attempts to rewrite the results of World War II and to call into question the results of the Nuremberg tribunals are inadmissible."

Public functions on the occasion of the day of commemoration of the Waffen SS Latvian legion took place in Riga on Thursday. Police officials said about 2,000 people had taken part in them.

All in all, the police detained five participants, including the two persons who were detained near the downtown Freedom monument. The cops pushed them away from the monument and took them into a police van.

March 16 is an unofficial day of commemoration of the Waffen SS Latvian legion, two divisions of which were set up on the Latvian territory in 1943. The day was an official commemorative date in Latvia over a period of several years after its breakaway from the USSR.

Later on, however, the authorities decided to drop the date off the official calendar of public commemorative events in the light of harsh criticism from Russia and in the West.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 16Mar17]

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