The May 9 ‘Russian march’ is being planned by “some sort of clowns,” but along with the march go potential risks of provocation; therefore it is reasonable to follow the Security Police's recommendation and to prohibit this event from taking place, Chairman of the Riga City Council Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) said in an interview on May 8 on the Latvian Television show "Rita Panorama."
According to Usakovs, he considers the organizers of the event "some sort of clowns" who call themselves the "Baltic Cossacks," wear military uniforms and regard each other as “colonels.”
"They should rather take part in a Halloween party," Usakovs said. Nevertheless, if the "Russian march" was granted permission, it could carry the risk of provocation, he believes.
Usakovs is in agreement with the Security Police that this year's May 9 events carry a higher risk due to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. For instance, he has received a threat letter recently.
Nevertheless, Usakovs believes that the May 9 events should not be called off or restricted because of these threats, indicating that the Security Police has not offered such recommendations either. The event organizers and the police should be extra cautious to maintain security.
On May 8 the Administrative Court is to review "Rodina's" objections against the Riga City Council's Executive Director Juris Radzevics' decision to ban the "Russian March".
"Rodina" representative Aleksandrs Zguns indicated that the event was to be the same as previous years, without any ‘instigations.’
"Rodina" plans to hold a rally to protest the prohibition.
Radzevics said he believes that the matter has to be solved by the courts. He also mentioned that the court does not always reverse the council's decisions - for example, the decision to restrict the March 16 anti-Fascist event at the Freedom Monument was only partially altered by the court, allowing event organizers to use loudspeakers for 30 minutes.