Annual marches of the Waffen-SS Legions and their supporters in Latvia have not enlisted large-scale support and do not reflect well upon Latvia, Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs said in an interview with Echo of Moscow Radio on May 18.
“I would not exaggerate the event,” the mayor said recalling that the march involves some one thousand people, which is a small-scale event even for Riga. Anyway, he said, such event does not reflect well upon Latvia.
Nils Ušakovs explained that even if the Municipality bans such marches, the organizers can apply to the court and get permission automatically in conformity with the Latvian laws.
EADaily reported earlier that Waffen-SS Legions hold unofficial events every year on March 16 in Riga and Latvia, at large. In 1988, after Latvia declared independence from the USSR, March 16 had been an official date for several years. It was removed from the list of the official dates after protests in both Russia and the West.
Two Waffen-SS Legions were formed in 1943. The 19th division was engaged in the punitive actions against Soviet citizens in the Leningrad and Novgorod regions. The units of the division were engaged in the operations against Soviet partisans in the areas of Nevel, Opochka, and Pskov. The SS Legions were known for their atrocities not only in the territory of Russia, but also in Belarus and Poland.