Latvia passes law to make May 9 day of remembrance for Ukraine war victims

  • 2022-04-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Saeima on Thursday passed in the final a bill designating May 9 a day of remembrance for victims of the war in Ukraine.

The bill was proposed by ruling coalition MPs Martins Steins (Development/For), Juris Puce (Development/For), Ainars Latkovskis (New Unity), Krisjanis Feldmans (Conservatives), Raivis Dzintars (National Alliance).

The Saeima also adopted MP Steins' proposal to ban fireworks on May 9 and 10, 2022. 

The aim of the legislation is to draw the attention of Latvian society to Russia's military aggression in Ukraine and to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people in the struggle for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. According to the bill, May 9 will be designated a day of remembrance for the victims of the war in Ukraine, honoring the Ukrainian civilians and military personnel who have suffered or died as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On May 9, Latvian national flags with black ribbon will have to be raised at all residential buildings and buildings of legal entities, and Latvian national flags together with the Ukrainian flags will have to be raised at the Riga Castle, Saeima building and the Cabinet of Ministers building.

The bill also stipulates that no public events and festivities may be organized on May 9 in Latvia.

The authors of the bill also remind that on May 9, celebrations of the Soviet army's over Nazi Germany were organized in the former Soviet Union republics. In Latvia, too, part of society still celebrates Victory Day on May 9, even though this date has long been seen in Eastern Europe as the day of the occupation and annexation of the Baltic countries by the Soviet Union.

Before the pandemic, massive public events were organized at the monument to Soviet soldiers in Riga's Pardaugava on May 9, as well as in several other Latvian cities.