Latvia, Poland mark Latgale Campaign centenary

2020-01-04 15:01 update: 2020-01-04, 15:11
Photo: PAP/Valdemar Doveiko
Photo: PAP/Valdemar Doveiko
Polish Ambassador to Latvia Monika Michaliszyn on Friday in Daugavpils, the largest city in Latvia's Latgale region, attended commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the 1919-1920 Latgale Campaign in which Latvian and Polish forces routed the Red Army from Latgale.

The commemorations began at 11:00 am with a wreath-laying ceremony at a former Polish cemetery in the nearby locality Slobodka. The burial site contains 237 Polish graves.

At 12:30 pm, a plaque commemorating the events was unveiled in Daugavpils, after which Poland's field bishop Jozef Guzdek held a Holy Mass. Following the mass, addresses were delivered by Poland's Chief of General Staff General Rajmund Andrzejczak and the commander of Latvia's National Armed Forces, General Leonids Kalnins.

The highlight of the commemorations was the unveiling of a renovated memorial to the Latgale Campaign at a cemetery in Kraslava, which contains the graves of 87 Polish soldiers who died in the battles.

Poland's involvement in the liberation of Latgale followed a decision by the country's inter-war leader Jozef Pilsudski. On January 3 1920, combined Polish and Latvian forces under Polish general Edward Rydz-Smigly launched a campaign against the Red Army, which was occupying the region. The two-month campaign, codenamed "Winter" and also known as the Latgale Campaign, proved successful and led to the liberation of the entire Latgale region and Daugavpils. (PAP)