The sound of gunfire is deafening. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the Mezaine training ground in western Latvia has never been empty, and the number of volunteers seeking to join the National Guard has quadrupled.
“When war broke out in Ukraine, all European values were at stake,” says Tida Danosa, director of the Latvian Design Center, between two rounds of ammunition. “I realized that I couldn’t be idle and watch television,” says this 49-year-old woman, carrying cartridge magazines attached to her belt, “and I decided that the National Guard was my place”.
A former Soviet republic that returned to independence in 1991, Latvia has a “history of occupation”. “So we know it can happen (…), it’s a situation that affects us directly”, he underlines. While announcing that he was assured of his country’s membership in NATO and the European Union, he said he was threatened because “Russia’s aggression is unpredictable.”
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