March 25, 2023

This week, the Latvian government has embarked on the demolition of a Soviet-era war memorial in the capital Riga, the latest Soviet monument to be destroyed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The 260-foot-tall monument was demolished Friday afternoon, just the latest Soviet-era monument to be destroyed after Latvia’s parliament voted to remove all Soviet monuments by mid-November this year.

The Riga Monument was erected in the late Soviet Union in 1985 to commemorate the Soviet Union’s invasion of German-occupied Latvia during World War II and its eventual victory over Nazi Germany, SVT Report.

Riga, Latvia: The 79-meter-tall Soviet Monument was built in 1985 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Hitler’s Germany in World War II. (Photo: Image Alliance for Alexander Welscher/Getty Images)

According to the broadcaster, the monument is considered controversial, with some seeing it as part of the legacy of the Soviet repressive state, but Latvia’s largely ethnic Russian population – about 30 percent of all residents – Protest to remove it.

Latvia, however, is not the only Baltic country to have demolished Soviet monuments in recent weeks. Earlier this month, neighbouring Estonia began dismantling a war memorial outside the city of Narva, with workers taking away a replica of a World War II-era Soviet T-34 tank.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaya Karas said that while the tanks were dismantled, the site would remain “a solemn place to commemorate the dead”.

Prime Minister Callas added: “[n]o People want to see our belligerent and hostile neighbors stir up tensions within our country,” vowed: “We will not give Russia the opportunity to use the past to disrupt the peace in Estonia. “

Earlier this week, Poland also began to remove Soviet monuments, with a monument to Soviet Red Army soldiers in Brzeg on the same day Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day.

A photo taken on August 25, 2022 shows the demolition of a Soviet-era monument in Riga. – After Russia invaded Ukraine, Latvia demolished a Soviet-era monument in the capital Riga, despite protests from Russian minorities in the Baltic states to keep it. (Photo: KASPAR KRAFTS/f64/AFP via Getty Images)

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter @TomlinsonCJ Or email ctomlinson(at)

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