Latvian president honours military volunteer KIA in Ukraine on Latvia’s Independence Day
A military parade dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Latvia took place in Riga on Saturday, 18 November, bringing together the Latvian military and those of the allied countries.
Source: Delfi, a news website covering Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as reported by European Pravda
Details: Speaking to the participants of the parade, Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs mentioned Corporal Vitālijs Smirnovs, who has recently been killed fighting for the freedom of Ukraine.
“Vitālijs’s sense of justice brought him to fight for the freedom of Ukraine. Vitālijs sacrificed his life not only for Ukraine but also for free Latvia and Europe. His struggle was not in vain. We will keep Vitālijs in our memory. We will keep defending our freedom and the freedom of our friends!”, Rinkēvičs stressed.
PHOTO: ODITA KRENBERGA / LATVIJAS TELEVĪZIJA
Rinkēvičs expressed his gratitude to every Latvian soldier providing training to Ukrainian troops this year, as well as to the soldiers of the National Defence Service.
About 1,500 soldiers, National Guard personnel, police, border guards, firefighters and youth guards took part in the military parade in Riga.
So wonderful to be part of #Latvia‘s Independence Day celebrations, even as only a spectator. And it was deeply poignant to see the #Ukrainian contingent there too. Long live democracy! pic.twitter.com/67o7Er6P3v
— Nick Short 🇺🇦 (@nickfshort) November 18, 2023
Allied troops from Albania, Canada, Czechia, Estonia, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States also participated in the parade. Besides, the Ukrainian flag group took part in the celebrations once again this year.
Background: Since last year, the Russian Embassy in the Latvian capital, Riga, has been officially located on Ukraine’s Independence Street, although it resisted changing its address for over eight months.
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