“History cannot be finished!”

Dismantling and Demolishing Soviet Monuments in Latvia since 2022

  • Maija Rudovska (Autor/in)


The article analyses a number of processes that have taken place in Latvia regarding Soviet monuments since Russia launched a full-scale war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The Latvian government, in cooperation with several local organisations, has implemented a new law that has affected 70 monuments built either in the Soviet times or during the German occupation of Latvia during World War II. At the top of the list of monuments to be dismantled or demolished was the Victory Monument (1985), located in Victory Park in the Pārdaugava district of Riga. The article seeks to explore how these processes have been carried out and who have been involved in their implementation. It looks at the decision makers, as well as the context in which particular views were formed, by politicians, art experts or the society at large. Focusing on the controversies surrounding the monuments, the article specifically points out the politically charged decisions in the dismantling/demolition process, as well as the influence of the nationalistic discourse.