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On Latvia's Independence Day, Latvian president honours military volunteer killed in Ukraine

Saturday, 18 November 2023, 17:14

A military parade to mark 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: In an address to the parade’s participants, Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs mentioned Corporal Vitālijs Smirnovs, who was recently killed fighting for the freedom of Ukraine.


"Vitālijs's sense of justice led him to fight for the freedom of Ukraine. Vitālijs sacrificed his life not only for Ukraine but also for a free Latvia and Europe. His struggle was not in vain. We will keep Vitālijs's memory alive. We will keep defending our freedom and the freedom of our friends!" Rinkēvičs stressed.


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.


Allied troops from Albania, Canada, Czechia, Estonia, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United States also participated in the parade. A Ukrainian flag group also 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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