Ukraine – Latvia from heart to heart in Rīga

The event “Ukraine – Latvia from heart to heart” took place in Rīga in the evening on July 14th .
It was organized by local Ukrainian Diaspora together with the Latvian nationalists. The historical cooperation between both nations and common fight against communism was accented together with the musical part performed by Latvian men band “Vilki” (“The Wolves”). This men band used to gather, record and perform the Latvian soldiers songs from 9-12th centuries up to the Second World War. Also, they are singing the songs of national partisans, so called “forest brothers” – fighters against the Soviet occupants. For this reason this musical men band is very popular among Latvian nationalists. They are always present at the Latvian SS legionnaire marches and sing during the different commemoration events and national festivities.

The musical band“Vilki” was founded already back in 1980, which was obviously not the best time to express Latvian nationalism and therefore it was a reason for particular attention on a side of the KGB. The repressions against the members of the band became inevitable.

From the Ukrainian side there was performing of two wonderful singers – Lesya Gorova with her amazing voice and the bard Volodymyr Gonsky, both of whom used to give the concerts in ATO zone just 50 meters away from the enemy’s snipers. Therefore they have had to leave quickly the performance sites because of the hostile fire. The singers have organized more than 300 concerts for Ukrainian soldiers since the beginning of the conflict.

The informational part of the event was dedicated to the stories about Latvians in Ukrainian National Army led by Symon Petliura during the Civil War in struggle against the Red army. The idea of Intermarium, which was popularized already in 1920s by Latvian Independence war leader, the military and the foreign affair genius general Pēteris Radziņš also was discussed. He wanted to see the close cooperation among the countries between the Baltic and the Black sea as an alternative to Antante and Kremlin. This perspective was discussed during the event from the today’s point of view. The general was also the 3rd highest official in Petliura’s army. The name of this general is largely unknown in Latvian society in spite of his inestimable investment in founding of Latvian independent state. It was due to unjustified verbal attacks and defamation organized by the left wing politicians in 1920ties, which was done because of the general’s strictly nationalistic, conservative and anti-soviet views. Recently, the Society of General Pēteris Radziņš has been founded to clear and popularize his name and the collection of his articles and writings have been released as well as the several exhibitions organized.

The representatives from Ukrainian embassy also took part in this event.

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