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Arrests as protests sparked over Latvia plans to demolish WW2 memorial

The Soviet monument in Riga’s Victory park has been a bone of contention between Latvia and Russia for years.

Several hundred people attempted to gather outside Riga’s town hall on Friday as the legislature in the Latvian capital convened for an extraordinary meeting to consider demolishing a monument to Soviet soldiers who liberated the city from Nazi occupation. The move was ultimately supported by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers.

Three members of the Latvian Russian Union party, including the party’s co-chair and member of the European Parliament Tatiana Zhdanok, were briefly detained during the protest outside the town hall. Technically, the politicians were not protesting as they were seen holding placards warning citizens that the gathering had not been authorized by the authorities.

All in all, seven people were detained during the demonstration for a variety of offenses, including “petty hooliganism.” Some wore black-and-orange St. George’s ribbons, which were used

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