Police have prepared for the 9th of May in a big way: they have identified the riskiest places and promise to use force only in exceptional cases

The police are preparing intensively for the upcoming 9th of May. Around 400 officers will be working across Lithuania on selected sites where various provocations are likely. They claim to have information about persons who are planning to enter the selected sites with prohibited symbols.

The police are preparing intensively for the upcoming 9th of May.
The police are preparing intensively for the upcoming 9th of May.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Lrytas.lt

May 6, 2022, 6:19 PM

„We have knowledge of individuals who may be determined to go with certain symbols and display them. We have no such information about any groups that could influence public order to gather in larger groups,“ said Deputy Commissioner General of Police Arūnas Paulauskas.

Police officers are intensively monitoring social networks, where they see only sporadic calls to go to the cemetery and pay tribute to the dead. No cases of organised groups gathering have been recorded so far.

A large police force will be deployed

A reinforced police force will be deployed from the 8th of May. On the 9th of May, they will be on permanent duty at 21 what they describe as high-risk sites, such as Antakalnis Cemetery and other memorials in major cities, and will regularly patrol another 180 lower-risk sites across Lithuania.

A large police force will be deployed. A total of 170 police crews, comprising around 400 officers, will be deployed at the planned sites.

The Deputy Commissioner General of Police pointed out that police officers will try not to confront those who wish to celebrate the 9th of May, but they will warn them about the prohibited merchandise and will collect footage of the gathering using available video recording equipment.

„The police will use force only in exceptional cases when they use some kind of force against the police themselves.

In other cases, we will certainly make every effort to resolve the situation peacefully – we will warn people that if they wear prohibited symbols and paraphernalia, they should stop those actions, and we will identify them and allow them to go to the cemetery to pay tribute to the dead,“ said Paulauskas.

Seek to distinguish them from those who oppose them

According to him, attempts to organise opposition groups are also visible in the social space.

„One of our main tasks is to ensure that conflicts do not arise between those who support and those who oppose and that everything happens in a civilised manner,“ the Deputy Commissioner-General of Police said.

On the 9th of May, Russia celebrates the day of the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War every year. In Vilnius, the biggest commemorations take place in Antakalnis Cemetery, where Georgian ribbons, banned by the Parliament because of the war in Ukraine, are a common sight for those who come to see them.

The display of this symbol is punishable by a fine of several hundred euros.

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