UPDATED: Barricades remembered 26 years on

Take note – story published 7 years ago

Various events were taking place across Latvia January 20, recalling the days of the barricades, when Latvians stood up to an attempt by Soviet hardliners to re-impose their communist rule.

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. 

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.

The Latvian Institute tweeted a link to some fascinating footage from the time:

At the parliament building or Saeima, a new book titled "January Chronicle" documenting press coverage of the time was launched.

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

Sadly, the museum's website contains scant material in English. However, our friends at Deep Baltic produced this excellent overview of what the barricades mean to Latvia last year which is very evocative.

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