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MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia hopes the world community will provide a principled assessment on the march of ex-Waffen SS collaborators and their cohorts in Riga, Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
"The Latvian authorities continue conniving year after year at these marches, which are shameful for a contemporary country that is an EU member state," the diplomat stressed. "This time, MPs from the parliamentary coalition tenderly guarded those individuals, who have the blood of thousands of civilians on their hands."
"Their supporters from neighboring Lithuania and Estonia, as well as from Ukraine joined them," Zakharova emphasized.
She dismissed the attempts to whitewash 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 repeatedly come up with public assessments of these shameful gatherings that glorify the soldiers of the SS Latvian volunteer legion," Zakharova noted. "We proceed from the conviction that any attempts to rewrite the outcome of World War II and to call into question the results of the Nuremberg tribunals are inadmissible."
Public functions commemorating Latvia’s Waffen SS past 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 individuals who were detained near the downtown Freedom monument. The cops pushed them away from the monument and took them into a police paddy wagon.
March 16 is marked as the unofficial day of commemorating of the Waffen SS Latvian legion, two divisions of which were set up on in the Baltic country in 1943. The day has remained 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.