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Moscow says falsification of history in Latvia is part of purposeful policy

April 23, 2015, 20:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Foreign Ministry saus the country’s leadership continues to pursue the policy of justification and glorification of former SS veterans

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At a rally in Riga (archive)

At a rally in Riga (archive)

© Kristina Kormilitsyna//TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The falsification of history in Latvia has long become a deliberate policy, says a Russian Foreign Ministry report titled "Neo-Nazism - a Dangerous Challenge to Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law" dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism. The report has been presented in TASS on Thursday by Foreign Ministry human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov.

"A special role in this context is given to the glorification of the Latvian Waffen SS legionnaires and other Nazi henchmen," the document says. "The attempt to present Hitlerite accomplices as ‘freedom fighters’ is a key element of the evidence base of the ‘Soviet Occupation’ concept and the ‘patriotic upbringing’ of young people."

"The country’s leadership continues to pursue the policy of justification and glorification of former SS-men and their abetters," the report says. "Separate lawmakers in the Lativan Sejm, mainly members of the National Bloc ultra-right party, which is part of the government coalition, take part annually in the march of former Waffen SS legionnaires in Riga on March 16 and visit a cemetery in the city of Lestene, where SS-men are buried."

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s report also notes that "policy of falsifying the history of the Second World War pursued by Lithuania promotes the growth in the number of manifestations of neo-Nazism and xenophobia."

"In line with some current political tends, the Lithuanian authorities are trying to equalize ‘the crimes of the Nazi and Stalin’s regimes’, glorifying Lithuanian guerilla fighters, the so-called ‘forest brothers’, who marred themselves by cooperating with the Nazis and are trying to hush up Lithuanians’ unsavory role in the extermination of the Jewish population of Lithuania during the German occupation," the report says.

The report’s authors draw attention to an increase in the number of acts of vandalism that have repeatedly targeted the Soviet sculptures on the Green Bridge in Vilnius and burial places of Soviet soldiers. "As a rule, investigations are not conducted until the end and perpetrators go unpunished," the document says.

"The state is in fact encouraging neo-Nazi manifestations, creating favorable conditions for demonstrating Nazi symbols in the country," the Russian Foreign Ministry says. "According to the 2010 ruling of a Klaipeda district court, the swastika is not a symbol of Nazi Germany but the "historical heritage of the Balts.".

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