Freedom and independence should not be taken for granted. The people of Latvia know that very well. Living in modern day Latvia, it’s easy to simply pass by the monuments commemorating the events of January 1991, but they remain as a powerful reminder of a time when everyone in Latvia came together to guard these simple but fragile rights – freedom and independence.

Yesterday, on January 20, Latvia commemorated these events that occurred only 23 years ago. People in Riga were gathering near the house of the Parliament, on the Dome square and other significant places, where symbolic bonfires were lit.

President Andris Bērziņš, Speaker of the Saeima Solvita Āboltiņa (Unity), along with other officials took part in the events and spoke with the participants. Āboltiņa also met with those journalists that had informed international media and society about the historic events that happened in January, 1991.

The construction of barricades in Riga was an important milestone in safeguarding a democratic transition to an independent country from the oppressive Soviet regime, but the events that took place at that time can be confusing. For better explanation we have created a short info-graphic with the main events of that time.

You can download the full list here:

Photo: Juris Kalniņš (Fotocentrs)
Latvian Institute, 21.01.2014, Society