Latvia marks day of Barricades

Take note – story published 4 years ago

In January 1991 people flowed into the capitals of the Baltic states and erected makeshift barricades around strategic locations like the parliament and the national radio to protect them against Soviet troops that wanted to crush the Baltic nations' independence drive. 

At one point, around 700,000 demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Rīga in a remarkable show of solidarity characteristic of the times of change. 

As is now traditional, barricade fires and candles are lit commemorating the time and the people who died during the events.

Flowers will also be laid by the Freedom Monument, at Barricades square, the Meža cemetery, as well as by the former Interior Ministry building where the most brutal of the attacks by the Soviet special forces was carried out.

You can find out more about the barricades at a dedicated museum in Riga.

To get an idea of how the streets of Rīga looked during the event, we've a gallery of 25 pictures


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