The War in Ukraine

The Latvian National Federation in Canada stands with Ukraine and calls on the Latvian community to join the fight against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Our parents and grandparents became refugees when they fled as the second Soviet invasion of Latvia began in 1944. They found a safe harbour in Canada but also insisted that we learn from their experiences and not forget the lessons of World War II. They feared Russia for the rest of their lives and today we see just how justified they were.

The Latvian community in Canada also has a role to play and our activism is of tremendous importance. Please follow this page to find out where to join #Stand with Ukraine rallies and use these resources to learn to better understand today's tragic events. Other resources will also be posted as they become available.

Dainis Īvāns, the Popular Front leader who galvanized the Latvian nation in the 1980s, said on February 25: "We must help. Ukrainians are sacrificing themselves so that 1940 doesn't come for us [once again] with mass deportations, repressions, and genocide." [Mums jāiet palīgā. Ukraiņi patlaban ziedojas, lai mums nepienāktu 1940. gads ar masu deportācijām, represijām un genocīdu.] Read Īvāns' full address in Latvian at lsm.lv.

Please write to us at politika@lnak.org  with your feedback and suggestions as we build this page.

Brivibas piemineklis ukrainas krasas

Freedom Monument in Rīga lit up in the colours of Ukraine

Photo: Kārlis Eihenbaums

Upcoming Events and Next Steps

Ukrainian Festival logo

Toronto
Saturday, September 17, 2022, March of Solidarity with Ukraine
Assembly begins at 10:00 am; March begins at 11:00 am sharp
Participants are asked to assemble in High Park, inside the north entrance of the park at Bloor Street and High Park Avenue. Latvians will march as a group. The March will move west along Bloor Street West to Jane Street and then proceed north along Jane ending at Jane and Bloor Street. The duration of the parade is one hour. Wear national/festive clothing and bring flags (if you have them). This is in conjunction with the Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival. The official opening of the Festival will follow immediately at 12:15 p.m at the Temerty Foundation Festival Stage at Jane Street. All welcome!

 

 Next Steps:

  • The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is collecting information from people who would like to help. Please go to the UCC website and use the I WANT TO HELP button to add your name to the list.
  • Please continue writing to your Member of Parliament. Please consider these guidelines on How to write to your MP from Results Canada. Thank your MP for Canada's assertive position to date and ask for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, a full trade embargo on Russia, and lethal aid to be sent now.

Stand with Ukraine

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls for:

Aircraft, air and naval defence systems for Ukraine

 Additional heavy weapons

Lend-Lease Agreement with Ukraine

Humanitarian Aid

Economic Stabilization

Investigation of Russian war crimes

Tell Your Member of Parliament that Canada Must Do More

It is vital that Members of Parliament and the Government hear from their constituents.

  • Find your Member of Parliament on the House of Commons website
  • Consider using one of the sample letters below as a template
  • Express your thanks for Canada's commitment to NATO and the Canadian military contingent in Latvia
  • Make your appeal personal and concise
  • Email is an acceptable way to communicate with your MP
  • Letters may be sent by mail to any Member of Parliament postage-free (House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6)
  • Include your full name, address, and telephone number—this is particularly important when contacting your own MP. You are much likelier to receive a response if you are a constituent.

Please copy the Latvian National Federation in Canada on your correspondence (politika@lnak.org) and keep us informed of the responses you receive. 

See a UCC sample letter here. See more sample letters at garaspeks.wordpress.com.

Please also consider writing to the following:

 

 

Articles and Reading

Recent Articles

Geoffrey York and Stephen Chase. After fleeing to Latvia, exiled Russian journalists deal with how to cut through the Kremlin’s propaganda. The Globe and Mail, June 5, 2022.

Geoffrey York. In Latvia, the battle over a Soviet monument sparks tensions across the Baltic country. The Globe and Mail, May 31, 2022.

Juris Kaža, No more Russia for the rest of the 21st century? Medium, April 13, 2022.

Masha Gessen, The Holocaust Memorial Undone By Another War. Letter from Kiev, The New Yorker, April 11, 2022.

Lionel Sander, Long before Ukrainian deportations, Soviets abducted Baltic citizens. The Washington Post, April 2, 2022.

Daniel Victor, How to Avoid Sharing Misinformation on the War in Ukraine, New York Times, March 21, 2022.

Katherine Schulten, Michael Gonchar, Jeremy Engle, Teaching Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the War in Ukraine, New York Times, March March 16, 2022.

Cathrin Gilbert. Interview with Volodymyr Zelensky. The Threat of Nuclear War is a Bluff. Die Zeit (English), March 9, 2022.

Vladislav Davidzon, Jewish Ukraine Fights Nazi Russia. The Tablet, March 4, 2022.

Ilya Kaminsky and Selected by Victoria Chang, Poem: We Lived Happily During the War, New York Times, March 3, 2022.

Masha Gessen, Russia Blocks Its Last Independent Television Channel, The New Yorker, March 2, 2022.

Anne Applebaum, The Impossible Suddenly Became Possible: When Russia invaded Ukraine, the West’s assumptions about the world became unsustainable. The Atlantic, March 1, 2022.

Yuval Noah Harari, Why Vladimir Putin has already lost this war, The Guardian, February 28, 2022.

Nicole Bogart, Cognitive warfare: Why disinformation is Russia's weapon of choice in the war on Ukraine. CTVNew.ca, February 25, 2022.

How to pronounce and spell 'Kyiv', and why it matters. The Guardian, February 25, 2022.

Ian Smith, The Disinformation War: The falsehoods about the Ukraine invasion and how to stop spreading them. euronews.next, February 25, 2022.

Dan Bilefsky, Richard Pérez-Peña, and Eric Nagourney, The Roots of Ukraine's War: How the Crisis Developed. New York Times, February 25, 2022.

Melinda Wenner Moyer, How to Talk to Kids About Ukraine. New York Times, February 25, 2022.

In videos, photos, and maps, how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is unfolding on the ground. Washington Post, February 25, 2022. (updated daily)

Naomi Schalit, Russia Invades Ukraine — 5 essential reads from experts. The Conversation, February 24, 2022.

Matt Gurney, Huh, who'd have guessed. It turns out we needed more Cold War thinking. The Line, February 24, 2022.

The New Yorker, Russia's War on Ukraine, in Context. The New Yorker, February 24, 2022.

Anne Applebaum, Calamity Again. No nation is forced to repeat its past. But something familiar is taking place in Ukraine. The Atlantic, February 23, 2022.

Anne Applebaum, The Reason Putin Would Risk War. He is threatening to invade Ukraine because he wants democracy to fail—and not just in that country. The Atlantic. February 3, 2022.

Understanding Cognitive Warfare and Deconstructing Russian Lies

Jessikka Aro, Putin's Trolls: On the Frontlines of Russia's Information War Against the World. Ig Books, 2022 (forthcoming).

Statement on the War in Ukraine by Scholars of Genocide, Nazism and World War II. Jewish Journal, undated.

Enzo Dimatteo, Russian disinformation campaign rallies Canada's far-right enemy within against Ukraine. NOW Magazine, February 25, 2022.

Russia's Hybrid War Against Ukraine. Deutsche Welle, February 22, 2022.

Office of the Spokesperson, Fact vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine. U.S. Department of State, January 20, 2022.

Mohamed Suliman, The Destabilization Experiment. Why Russia is using Facebook to launch disinformation campaigns in Sudan. Rest of World, November 24, 2021.

Christopher Paul, Miriam Matthews, The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model. Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It. Rand Corporation, 2016.

Further Reading

Andrejs Plakans. The Reluctant Exiles: Latvians in the West After World War II. Leiden: Brill, 2021.

Catherine Belton, Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took the West. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.

Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom. New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2018.

Anne Applebaum. Red Famine: Stalin' s War on Ukraine. Toronto: Signal, 2018

Masha Gessen, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. New York: Riverhead Books, 2017.

Bill Browder, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015

Andres Kasekamp, A History of the Baltic States. Houndmills, Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. New York: Basic Books, 2021.

Andrejs Plakans, A Concise History of the Baltic States. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010.

Yermolenko, Volodymyr (ed.) Ukraine in Histories and Stories: Essays by Ukrainian intellectuals. Internews Ukraine and UkraineWorld, 2022. Free download available on the UkraineWorld website.

Donate

Canada-Ukraine Foundation Humanitarian Appeal

Doctors Without Borders Our Work in Ukraine

Donate to a variety of Ukraine Emergency Relief Efforts via CanadaHelps.org

Donate for logistical and medical support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine at Ukraine Now

The Kyiv Independent

Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto Branch (Help Ukrainians Displaced by War Settle in Toronto)

World Central Kitchen #Chefs for Ukraine

Ziedot.lv Ukrainas cilvēkiem!

Resources

Websites

Amnesty International Ukraine Page

Canada's Engagement in Ukraine

Canada's Response to the Crisis in Ukraine

Russia, Ukraine & International Law: On Occupation, Armed Conflict and Human Rights. (Human Rights Watch)

The Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC)

MacDonald-Laurier Institute Foreign Policy Program

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Latvia

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence

Russia Invaded Ukraine (official website of Ukraine)

*** Russia-Ukraine War: Info and Ways to Help

Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Ukraine Dispatches

Ukraine Now

UpNorth News from the Coolest Places on Earth Since 2003

World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA–Latvian only)

Media

ABC News Live

Al Jazeera English

BBC News

DW News Livestream

Euromaidan Press

Žurnāls IR (in Latvian)

The Kyiv Independent

Kyiv Post

The New Yorker

UATV English (Ukrainian state foreign language broadcaster)

UkraineWorld An English-language multimedia project about Ukraine run by Internews Ukraine. 

Watch Sky News live

Podcasts

Ārskats (A new podcast in Latvian from IR Magazine focussing on world events with Pauls Raudseps, Aivars Ozoliņš, and Tomass Pildegovičs)

BBC News Ukrainecast

Canadaland #760 Russia's Weapons of Mass Deception

The Eastern Border

The Ezra Klein Show

BBC HARDtalk

Krustpunktā (in Latvian)

The Russia Guy

Šķiltava (in Latvian with Pauls Raudseps, Aivars Ozoliņš, and guests)

Sway March 10, 2022, Anne Neuberger: Are We Ready for Putin's Cyber War?

UkraineWorld Explaining Ukraine

YouTube

Serhii Plokhii and Timothy Snyder, The War in Ukraine and Universal Values, IWM Vienna, March 11, 2022. (Two historians of Ukraine in conversation)

Join an ad hoc group of Canadian Latvians on Whatsapp "Atbalsts Ukrainai"

Contact politika@lnak.org to join or Kaspars Reinis at 647-202-4819.

People to Follow

Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics), Krišjānis Kariņš (@krisjaniskarins), @Pabriks, @janis_sarts, Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum), Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder), Toomas Hendrik Ilves (@IlvesToomas), Marcus Kolga (@kolga), Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63), David Frum (@davidfrum), Matt Gurney (@mattgurney), Andrew Coyne (@acoyne), Masha Gessen (@mashagessen), Bill Browder (@Billbrowder), Bob Rae (@BobRae48), Pauls Raudseps (@raudseps), Ieva Vārna (@Ieva_Varna), Nellija Ločmele (@NellijaL), Inga Spriņģe (@IngaSpringe), Kristīne Garklāva (@kristine.garklava), Heather Cox Richardson (@HC_Richardson), Vladislav Davidzon (@VladDavidzon), Jane Lytvynenko (@JaneLytv), Ilia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko), José Andrés (@chefjoseandres), @Jessikka Aro, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (@STRATCOMCOE), @VeikoSpolitis, @ukraine_world

Substack

Timothy Snyder: Thinking about ... Opening the future by understanding the past