Latvia Reinstates Mandatory Military Service for Fear of Russia

The Latvian parliament voted on April 5 to reinstate mandatory military service for men. Males ages 18 to 27 will be required to serve for 11 months to a year in Latvia’s National Armed Forces beginning January 2024. The mandate was reinstated because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a speech before the parliament on April 5, Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece said:

The state defense service is our answer to the new geopolitical threat. Since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, we can ensure that Latvia is protected only through complex defense solutions, which include not just weapons systems but also a large segment of society at the ready for military action.

Not alone: Latvia is not the only country concerned about Russia. In 2015, shortly after Russia invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, Lithuania reintroduced conscription over fears of “the current geopolitical environment,” according to then Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. Germany and Poland are also discussing reinstating compulsory service.

Ukraine is a clear example of how important a morally resilient and well-prepared civilian population is to push back any aggressor.
—Inara Murniece

Europe is afraid: Russia is brazenly trying to gobble up Eastern Europe. Europe is afraid and is responding to threats by militarizing and unifying.

Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans have lived through brutal occupation. Their countries were pulverized during World War ii. They know what Russia can and will do—and they fear it in a way that is hard for us in the West to even imagine.
—Gerald Flurry, Trumpet editor in chief, “The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe