The annual event has stirred controversy, not for the firsttime, sparking outrage both in Latvia and abroad as many considerit a glorification of Nazism.Authorities in Riga had banned the parade in previous years dueto security concerns. This year, the Riga City Council’s firstRussian mayor, Nil Ushakov [Nils Ušakovs], also banned publicgatherings on March 16, what many consider Legionnaires’ Day, inorder to prevent riots.However, the council has allowed the demonstration this year,ruling that such gatherings pose no threat to public safety.RT correspondent Aleksey Yaroshevsky, who is currently inLatvia, reported that Latvian SS veterans gathered at the freedommonument in Riga.At the same time, a small group of mainly Russians protestedbehind barricades about 15 meters away. They blared war sirens andSoviet songs to disperse the crowd. Some chanted “Shame!” and“Nazism won’t pass!”A large number of police units have been deployed to keep thetwo sides apart. At least four people were arrested at the Saturdayprocession.From 1998 to 2000, March 16 has been an official remembrance dayin the country to pay tribute to the Latvian Legion.The Legion was created in 1943 on orders from Adolf Hitler. InMarch of the same year, the Legion was already battling the SovietRed Army near the town of Pskov. In total, about 150,000 soldiersserved in its ranks.