Latvia Celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Its Independence with a Torchlight Procession and Swastikas

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Latvia celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence with celebrations across the whole country, concerts, military parades, and festive salutes. But what looked to be the most indicative is the torchlight procession in Riga, which about 20,000 Latvians took part in.

According to the local media, the procession stretched for more than 1 kilometer. It is noteworthy that besides bamboo torches, the participants of the torchlight procession also held swastika flags in their hands.

21 NATO member states participated in the parade: there were American Black Hawk helicopters, German Eurofighter jets, as well as tanks and armored cars from Spain, Italy, and Canada. At the same time, on this background Latvia’s own divisions were represented by only one battalion.

Also, the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and her entourage were unable to travel to Riga.

“The Lithuanian delegation headed by the president Dalia Grybauskaitė was not able to travel to Riga to participate in the 100-year celebration of Latvia’s Independence because of an unexpected breakage of the plane of Lithuania’s Air Force,” it is said in the message released by the president of Lithuania’s press service

Since another plane could not be found, the Lithuanian authorities congratulated their neighbors via in a video message. It should be noted that such events have been held in the Latvian capital since 2003.

The Independence of Latvia was declared on November 18th, 1918. It said declared at the time by the largest parties of the country. In 1920 Latvian independence was recognised in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and a year later – a number of European states.

On July 21st, 1940 the Saeima proclaimed Latvia as a Soviet republic, and on August 5th, 1940 the Supreme Council of the USSR accepted Latvia as a member of the USSR.

On May 4th, 1990 the Supreme Council of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted “The declaration on the restoration of the state independence of the Republic of Latvia”. According to this document, the operation of the 1922 Constitution of Independent Latvia was resumed.

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