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RIGA, October 21 (Itar-Tass) - The overwhelming majority of residents in the Latvian capital of Riga that make 79 percent oppose the demolition of the monument to Soviet warriors-liberators, Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov recalled on Monday about the results of the sociological survey conducted by the Latvian Public Opinion Research Centre SKDS.
A greater part of respondents who make 51 percent from these 79 percent believe that the monument should be preserved in the current condition, 28 percent of pollsters would like to renovate it. Only 13.6 percent of respondents called for the demolition of the monument.
“Extremists and saboteurs are out of place in Riga. Those who try to earn their political capital before the elections proposing to pull down the monument to the liberators are out of place either. And those who put forth the same outrageous ‘reciprocal’ initiatives with the same goal,” the Riga mayor said on his page in the social network Facebook. “The only thing that the Riga legislature can propose to them is a cell at the Riga zoo. On Saturdays they could have staged the show “Battle of Freaks”. The funds received from the sale of tickets could have been spent for social programmes,” he said.
As many as 800 people participated in a sociological survey, which SKDS conducted in April 2013 on the order from the Riga legislature.
The Riga monument is the main monument of the local Russian-speaking community, which makes about 40 percent of country’s population. Every year on May 9 about 200,000 Latvian residents meet at the monument to lay the flowers to the monument and congratulate the war veterans. Local nationalists appealed many times to demolish the war memorial built in the eighties of the previous century, but the lawmakers did not support their initiative. The monument was desecrated many times, it was even attempted to blast it in 1997.