Soviet-Era WWII Obelisk Toppled in Latvian Capital

A concrete obelisk capped with Soviet stars was toppled in Latvia’s capital of Riga on Thursday, August 25, becoming the latest Soviet-era monument to be dismantled in Eastern Europe since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The ‘Monument to the Liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German Fascist Invaders’ – also known as the ‘Victory Monument’ – commemorates the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Footage released by Latvian police shows the moment the monument’s 79-meter (259 ft) obelisk came crashing down in Riga’s Victory Park.

“The world has changed this year. Now Riga has also changed,” said Riga Mayor Edvards Smiltens in a Facebook post. “The ultimate symbol of imperialism, the supremacy of another power and the oppression of our nation is lost,” he said.

Smiltens said the decision to remove the monument was made by the city council in May. Credit: Latvia State Police via Storyful

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