Appeal for 'moment of silence' on February 24

Take note – story published 1 year and 3 months ago

Latvia's President, the Speaker of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia have joined their voices in an appeal for members of the public to mark one year since Russia's disgraceful invasion of Ukraine.

"Since 2014, Russia has been assaulting Ukraine’s land and independence. On 24 February 2023, the Russian armed forces launched a brutal full-scale military aggression, which has been going on for a year now. Thousands of people who led their usual daily lives – husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and children – have perished in this war senselessly unleashed by Russia. Many thousands more have been deported to the aggressor’s territory. The lives of several millions of Ukrainians have been shattered as they fled their country seeking refuge from the atrocities of Russian invaders," said a joint statement from the four high officials. 

"The brave Ukrainian soldiers – men and women – are fighting selflessly for the freedom and independence of their country and all of us. They have succeeded in holding out against a superior force, stopping the aggressor’s advances, and also being able to deal powerful counter strikes. Regrettably, Ukraine is paying a terrible price for that, paying in blood, and losing its best sons and daughters."

"In solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the President of Latvia, the Speaker of the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs call on all the people of Latvia, at 9 a.m. on 24 February 2023, to cease their daily endeavours and stand united in a moment of silence commemorating and honouring the sacrifices borne by the Ukrainian people. Latvia has been supporting and will support Ukraine’s fight until a full victory is won. Those who are fighting for their homeland will always have more determination and strength than those invading another country. Those who are fighting for their children’s right to live in a free and democratic state will prevail," the appeal says.

Latvia has been one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters over the last year, and it seems highly likely that many people would have had pause for thought on February 24, even without the invitation. Nevertheless, the appeal by the high officials will likely make it more of a public than private demonstration of solidarity. 

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