European country sends brutal war message to Putin as conscripts arm up for battle

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun13,2024

An influx of volunteers have signed up to join Latvia’s army, as the country beefs up its defences in an attempt to deter a Russian invasion in the future.

Latvia is one of the three Baltic states that achieved independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Along with Estonia and Lithuania, the country then joined Nato in 2004, believing this would provide it with a long term security guarantee against any future Russian aggression.

The government scrapped compulsory military service in 2006, convinced that NATO membership was enough of a deterrent.

However, Latvia changed course after Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and decided to reintroduce conscription.

In July 2022, MPs announced plans to make all men aged 18 to 27 complete 11 months of military training.

Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said on X that Latvia must accept the proposal, likening it to the country’s “most important pre-requisite for survival.”

“The greater the number of military prepared and trained, the less likely it will be that Russia will want to direct its military aggression against Latvia,” he wrote in 2022.

The National Defence Service Act was eventually signed into law by Latvian president Egils Levits in April 2023.

Orests Rullis is one of the volunteers who decided to sign up for military service after Russia invaded Ukraine. The twenty-one year old is nearing the completion of his training course, but intends to build a carrier in the armed forces.

“Leadership was new to me, and the army really gave it to me,” he told Euronews. “When I’m here, I see that everything is planned out. I feel confident that we can defend [Latvia].”

Latvia has committed to spend €1.1 billion (£935,804) on its military in 2024, with a target of reaching € 1.4bn (£1.19bn) in 2027.

The country expects to conscript 1,040 people into the army next year but is aiming to recruit as many as 2,800 new soldiers by 2027.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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