Latvia, Poland mark Latgale Campaign centenary

Polish Ambassador to Latvia Monika Michaliszyn attended commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the 1919-1920 Latgale Campaign in Daugavpils, the largest city in Latvia's Latgale region. During the campaign Latvian and Polish military forces routed the Red Army from Latgale.

The commemorations began with a wreath-laying ceremony at a former Polish cemetery nearby Slobodka. The burial site contains 237 Polish graves.

A plaque commemorating the events was later unveiled in Daugavpils, which was followed by a Holy Mass held by Polish field bishop Józef Guzdek. After the mass, Poland's Chief of General Staff General Rajmund Andrzejczak and the commander of Latvia's National Armed Forces, General Leonids Kalnins addressed the participants of the ceremony.

The highlight of the commemorations was the unveiling of a renovated memorial to the Latgale Campaign at a cemetery in Kraslava, which includes 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 Marshal Józef Piłsudski. On January 3 1920, combined Polish and Latvian forces under Polish general Edward Rydz-Śmigły launched a campaign against the Red Army, which was occupying the region. The two-month long campaign, codenamed "Winter" and also known as the Latgale Campaign, proved successful and led to the liberation of the entire Latgale region and Daugavpils.