Latvia bans letters "V" and "Z"
Latvia outlaws the display of the letters "V" and "Z" in public.
Latvia's parliament has adopted a new law that bans the display of the letters "Z" and "V" in public, under the pretense that these symbols, which are being used by Russian troops in Ukraine, stand for glorifying "military aggression and war crimes".
The vote on the new law was introduced as an "urgent procedure".
The law states that public events and demonstrations will not be given permits if they're held within 200 meters of monuments in Latvia commemorating the Soviet Army, and that individuals convicted according to this law can be fined up to €400, and companies can be fined up to €3,200.
The chair of the Latvian Parliament's Human Rights and Public Affairs Commission, Artuss Kaimins made a statement “In condemning Russia’s hostilities in Ukraine, we must take a firm stand that symbols glorifying Russian military aggression, such as the letters 'Z', 'V' or other symbols used for such purposes, have no place in public events."
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had called on the entire world earlier this week to "criminalize" the use of the letter "Z", saying its display equals support for Russian "barbarism". Kiev also asked Slovenia's embassy on Thursday to take down its flag because it was too similar to that of Russia.
Symbols glorifying Nazi or Communist regimes and organizations should be banned under Latvian law, except when used for "educational, scientific or artistic purposes."
However, a march takes place every year in the country, honoring Latvian members of the Nazi Waffen-SS. The march took place on March 16 this year.