Talk:Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

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Older comments[edit]

Hello, Xasha. You accuse Olahus of "harrassing" you and claiming that as the basis of reverting his revert. Yet here you are appearing out of nowhere suddenly, in fact, having never edited this page before that I can see, reverting my last very recent edit on the heels of our editorial disagreements in the Romanian/Moldovan sphere. Exactly who is "harrassing" whom here? Please contain your edit warring to its current confines. —PētersV (talk) 02:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

There's a first time for everything. And, sincerely, I didn't notice all that propaganda was added by you.Xasha (talk) 21:04, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I did an edit on it, an, since it's bound to be contested, here's a point-by-point rationale:

  • "never recognized" - I can almost see Vecrumba's bolded underscores under each "never" (and a bunch of invisible exclamation marks, too). I don't think a fact needs to be stressed thus. (More on this later).
  • Russification - claiming that the deportations and killings were part of the process is... well. I hope this is a personal opinion of some crazed extremist, rather than an official point of view. Certainly, it happened, and certainly, the change in the population proportion (caused in part by the killings and deportations) affected it as well, but stating it like that is, uh, pretty bad. The info on Russification needs to be added into the article, but not in this form.
  • "Similarly to the end of World War" - AFAIK, there was no destruction or evacuation to Russia of anything other than Russians themselves in the 1990s.
  • "artificial" - the Latvian SSR was part of the same industrialization process as every other SSR, so it was no more "artificial" than elsewhere.
  • The rest are just minor style changes and stuff. --Illythr (talk) 18:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree. Industrialization is by definition something artificial. Moreover, the claim that it was artificail just because it wasn't fully based on local resources is spurious. Japan has almost no natural resources, yet it is one of the main producers of cars, electronics, etc. Also, saying the pre-Soviet Russian population was mainly agrarian has no sense. Since Latvia had few industrial facilities before 1940, and Russians and other minorities were generally discriminated during Ulmanis' dictatorship, it is normal that the population, Russian or Latvian, was mainly agrarian before Soviet industrialization.Xasha (talk) 19:45, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
As for the Russification and second-class citizens, that's typical far right propaganda.Xasha (talk) 19:46, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, were the "punitive" economic measures taken because of disagreement about the role of the Soviet rule, or because Latvia refused to sell the oil terminal to Russian companies? Xasha (talk) 19:51, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Come on, Xasha, everybody knows that the Soviet Union had a policy of Russification in the Soviet republics. What you are claiming here is ridiculous. Do you expect some sources from me in this case? Just ask me and you'll have them. --Olahus (talk) 20:10, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
The wording of that sentence was indeed extremely POV and provided a judgement where it shouldn't have. I think I managed to get the factual info without that POV by simply stating what exactly happened. --Illythr (talk) 23:04, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course industrialization in Latvia was artificial because it was not based on any natural resources or market efficiencies. Materials came in from elsewhere in the USSR and production went back to elsewhere in the USSR. That assembly work could have been done anywhere, however, by placing industry in Latvia, it provided a plausible basis for aggressive Russification. I'm leaving the "POV" tag bccause the article is even more milk toast than it was before, completely eliminating Russification. I'm glad to see that not smearing the reputation of the USSR is "NPOV" these days. I'll get back to the article when I have more time, it was quite educational who suddenly popped up complaining of POV and suddenly being experts on the Soviet industrialization of Latvia. Read any reputable scholarship on it, anyone? —PētersV (talk) 02:13, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

But as long as we're at it...

  • "never recognized" -- Wasn't my edit, don't blame me.
  • Russification - claiming that the deportations and killings were part of the process is... well. I hope this is a personal opinion of some crazed extremist, rather than an official point of view. Certainly, it happened, and certainly, the change in the population proportion (caused in part by the killings and deportations) affected it as well, but stating it like that is, uh, pretty bad. The info on Russification needs to be added into the article, but not in this form. -- I see the nearly 60,000 deported in just two mass deportations reference was lost too. Sorry, all part of the same Soviet program, eliminate the locals, stock up with Russians. Perhaps Stalin had two heads that didn't talk to each other?
  • "Similarly to the end of World War" -- Factories were denuded as soon as things fell apart.
  • "artificial" -- I've already addressed this.

I realize it's fashionable to accuse me of right-wing and other POV contentions, but I'm only repeating what I've read in sources. Again, whose scholarly works (not web stuff) on Latvia under the USSR have people here actually read? Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question. :-) —PētersV (talk) 02:36, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

  • "Never recognized", sorry, you can ignore "Vecrumba's". It just was so you I couldn't help but notice.
  • eliminate the locals, stock up with Russians - there's actually research that uses such wording and is considered reputable? Huh. I suppose it's reassuring to see that not only Soviet historiography has got some crazy ideas...
  • Similarity - during the evacuation they were "denuded" first, besides, the reasons and processes were quite different.
  • by placing industry in Latvia, it provided a plausible basis for aggressive Russification - or perhaps it was just an effort to rebuild the ruined economy. Or perhaps it was done this way to ensure that any possible separation event will be as painful as possible. POVs abound. A NPOV way (that is, one that doesn't openly demonize anyone) to introduce one or two most plausible ones is welcome.
I added a bit on the Russification a little later, did you notice? And yes, smearing anyone of anything amounts to soapboxing and is indeed not acceptable for Wikipedia article written from a NPOV.
"Read any reputable scholarship on it" - at the danger of answering a rhetorical question, no, I didn't, and don't really intend to get myself involved into this topic (this (issued by an official institution) was quite enough for me to see that Baltic-related topics will need several decades to cool down before any kind of NPOV can be achieved there). However, when extreme POV is as apparent as it is in this article, and a possibility exists to neutralize it while keeping the facts it presents in, I see no reason not to.
PS: There is no need to accuse you of anything, Peters. :-) --Illythr (talk) 14:32, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
It's not demonizing when you hold those deporting and murdering people accountable. That will never cool down as long as Russia sticks to Soviet lies. Sorry, low on humor today. —PētersV (talk) 02:24, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
And to Xasha, you have reputable sources for Russians being "discriminated" against during Latvia's independence? Don't think so. Latvia was truly multi-cultural (see Hiden's works). —PētersV (talk) 02:27, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Did not recognize the existence of the Latvian SSR[edit]

Was the recognition of the individual SSRs a standard diplomatic action of the time? --Illythr (talk) 20:54, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Are you referring to the U.S.S.R. lobbying for U.N. memberships of some of its allegedly sovereign republics? —PētersV (talk) 02:04, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
No, I just don't know how it was (thus making no changes). Did USSR really try to get separate UN memberships for some of its constituent republics? --Illythr (talk) 14:39, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
And succeeded, Ukrainian SSR was a member of the U.N. Security Council in 1948-1949 and I recall there being another republic for which the U.S.S.R. lobbied for U.N. membership under the U.S.S.R.'s "they're all sovereign states free to leave any time they like" constitution, but books are all packed away during renovations (also curtailing my web search time!). Belarus I think.
   It's a common argument for the "Baltics could not have been occupied if they were annexed, the Baltics could not be occupied for 50 years, the Baltics could have left the U.S.S.R. under its constitution any time it wanted so it couldn't be occupied if it voluntarily remained incorporated, etc." crowd to point to these sorts of exceptions--the Soviets simply wanted more U.N. voting oomph including on the Security Council and got it--as proving a "rule" (sovereignty, self-determination, and so on) which in fact in no way reflects the situation of the the Soviet republics. —PētersV (talk) 16:35, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Heeey, I think I have eliminated the Ukrainian SSR as a list of participants at some UN-related event! And I don't remember where anymore! Crap...
To the second part, occupation and annexation are both possible at the same time, since, as per the article, a military occupation occurs when the highest authority in the region is concentrated in the hands of (foreign) military. The Soviet constitution did provide a way out, but it was constructed like the Minotaur's maze (requiring an all-Union plebiscite, I believe), so that's not really an argument for anything (except when talking about the letter of the law - i.e. a spherical horse in a vacuum). That the occupation could not have lasted for 50 years is another obvious fact, since the military is not cut out for the job of ruling a country longer than a few years. At some point the resistance is quelled, the provisional government is replaced with a permanent one and the annexation is complete. --Illythr (talk) 19:24, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Occupation occurs when the legitimate sovereign authority is prevented from exercising its rights of administration over its territory by a foreign power. An "occupation" does not mean it must be a "military occupation." Nor does an "occupation" require a declared state of war. Nor is there a predefined timetable for occupation magically morphing into not an occupation only because it's stuck around beyond some "reasonable" period. It's only an "obvious fact" (not 50 years) to you because you believe (as it turns out, incorrectly) that an occupation can only mean under military jurisdiction of a foreign power (that is, "annexation" and transfer to foreign civil authority by definition terminates "occupation"--it does not). Ah, I long for my debates with Vlad Fedorov, I wonder when his year-long block expires. :-) —PētersV (talk) 02:10, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Ahh, so you believe that an occupation is over only when that displaced legitimate authority is reinstated in power? (BTW, did I say anything about declaration of war? I don't think so.) Vlad Fedorov? Well, you can visit him on his talk page or vouch for his early release, if you miss him that much ;-) --Illythr (talk) 07:54, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't saying you were the "crowd"--just covering all bases.
   The Soviets signed multiple treaties recognizing and then reaffirming the sovereignty of the Baltics. They violated them all, plain and simple. The circumstances of that violation never changed, plain and simple. It's unfortunate--Stalin could have played the liberator if he hadn't gotten to the Baltics first. And there's evidence that Stalin's immediate moving of troops into the the Baltics under threat of invasion ("mutual assistance") and subsequent invasion angered Hitler and made him nervous enough over Stalin that those actions help prompt Hitler to invade the USSR.
   Perhaps if Stalin had left the Baltics alone and Hitler hadn't invaded the USSR, I'm sure Hitler would have been eventually defeated anyway. Stalin could have remained "neutral" and saved tens of millions of Russian lives. Speculation only, of course. Then again, consider the Red Army suffered nearly 400,000 dead or wounded just trying to take the Courland pocket and failing. Surely that's several hundred thousand Russians who could have gone home to their families and not died uselessly. Stalin just had to have the Baltics. —PētersV (talk) 13:18, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Can you confirm the supposition in my last post?
A German invasion of USSR was inevitable regardless of who'd get all the buffer states first (that'd only influence the strategic advantage of the two major players). According to the (still disputed) Meltiukhov, the German invasion could have been thwarted only if the Soviet Union had attacked first, a plan which was already in the works, but was a few weeks too late.
As for the Courland pocket, we already had this conversation before. As I said then, leaving a damaged but still fully functional army group (over 25 divisions, right?) behind own front lines is strategically the kind of idea that will get you full and heartfelt support of Russian generals if you decide to pursue a career within the leading ranks of NATO. ;-) Not to mention the political implications of failing to punish the very same army group that had laid siege to Leningrad, starving over a million of its inhabitants to death. Plus, the Soviet Union considered the Baltics its own territory, and purging the Axis forces from it was a primary goal of the entire Soviet war effort. --Illythr (talk) 14:28, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
To your " occupation is over only when that displaced legitimate authority is reinstated in power?" Let's try something non-Baltic. If we take a territory familiar to both of us WP-elsewhere, Bessarabia, we have:
  • Russia invades and annexes what it later christens Bessarabia from Moldavia (after Besarab's kingdom which was elsewhere)
  • Moldavia was a sovereign state with allegiance (however you want to describe the suzerainty arrangement) to the Ottomans
  • The Sultan signed over Bessarabia to Russia--however, he had absolutely no right of sovereignty to do so
  • (much later) Bessarabia declares its sovereignty, joins Russia briefly, flees the Bolsheviks who frankly terrify it, joins Romania; USSR never recognizes Bessarabia as Romanian (but then, it was never really legally part of Russia in the first place, although prior to the 20th century war was considered a legal means for settling conflict, so we do have the "possession is 9/10ths of the law" factor)
  • USSR ultimately annexes Bessarabia, creates Moldova; as Russia never legally possessed Bessarabia, the USSR cannot make the legal case that it was restoring control over legitimate Russian territory
So, in this case, Russia's annexation was an occupation which can be argued to have remained so until Bessarabia of its own accord joined Romania after WWI, reuniting itself with the other half of historical Moldavian territory.
   Latvia (and the Baltics) are far simpler. They all took emergency measures to preserve their sovereign authority regardless of territorial events. That sovereign continuity continued unbroken in exile and was restored to the republics when they regained their independence. It's all documented in a verifiable, de jure, trail, just as the Soviet Union's abrogations and violations of its solemn treaty oaths recognizing and respecting Baltic sovereignty are fully documented and verifiable. There's no wiggle room for the Russian" declarations of "you can't occupy what belongs to you" having any validity whatsoever, not even as an opinion of events. In the case of the Baltics, it couldn't be more clear-cut. So, yes, the occupation was over when the displaced legitimate sovereign authority was reinstated. (Baltic diplomats in exile formally returned their "holding" of sovereignty over to the new local authorities.) Constitutions came back into effect. Diplomatic agreements and their mutual rights and obligations with other countries were reinstated with no requirements for ratification, etc. Whether it was 5 months, 5 years, 50 years, or 500 years makes no difference. —PētersV (talk) 01:46, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Just as an aside, it's generally agreed that Israel has now occupied Gaza for 40 years. Don't see any issues with occupation longevity there. —PētersV (talk) 02:01, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
P.P.S. And I have to observe, the case in favor of the Baltics' position is meticulously documented and verifiable. Russia's case for its contentions rest on nothing. As I've stated elsewhere, the Duma passed a resolution reminding Latvia that its joining the Soviet Union was legal according to international law. But it has produced not one whit of evidence. Only empty words. —PētersV (talk) 02:17, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your exhaustive reply. As this discussion is drawing away from the Latvian SSR, I will post my own reply on your talk page once I have the time. For now, I can only remark on the PPS: I don't care much for - nor have studied - the position of Russia (which is just another POV to me), but from what I've heard, that resolution was based on the petitions issued by the Baltic states themselves (or rather, the governments who were "helped" into power) to join the USSR (oddly, this is not mentioned in the article), which makes the annexation sort of legal, if we ignore that it was done at gunpoint. But hey, show me an annexation that didn't happen at gun-, sword-, club- or ICBM- point (or due to some other "offer" the yielding party "couldn't decline") and I'll show you something really weird (Gaza is about the only one I can think of right now). --Illythr (talk) 07:26, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
To Vecrumba: It's vey disturbing the way you arbitrarily award legitimacy and illegitimacy to events and treaties. But as Illythr said, this is not the place to discuss this.Xasha (talk) 17:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
No, even if this petition to join the USSR was not done at gun point, it was still illegal because the constitutional law of the respective Baltic states required a referendum before a decision to join any union can be made, and a referendum was not held. Therefore these governments (regardless of whether they were puppet or not) acted illegally, and their petition to join the USSR had no legal basis. Note that when the Baltic states joined the EU, they held referendums first as required by law. Martintg (talk) 22:25, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I wonder if there was some kind of law within the Russian Imperial legal framework authorizing the secession of its Governorates... ;-) --Illythr (talk) 23:27, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) Doesn't matter. Bolshevist Russia and the USSR which succeeded it in turn, and which both succeeded imperial Russia, both recognized and (re)affirmed the sovereignty of the Baltics. Once that was done, prior treaties regarding sovereignty were rendered null except for the continuity of succession of sovereignty. For example, people have contended Latvia belongs to today's Russia because the Treaty of Nystad was never revoked. (!) It's precisely the treaty that allows sovereignty to pass from Sweden to Russia to ... to Latvia et al. If the treaty had been revoked, Latvia (the Livonian part, Vidzeme and some of Latgale) would technically belong to Sweden.
   On Wikipedia, everyone can make up their own international law. :-) Just to be clear, talking about contentions about Nystad, not what I've written here! —PētersV (talk) 23:50, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Do you think that the establishment of the Soviet Russia/Union on the territory of the Russian empire was any more legal than the establishment of the three SSRs on the territory of the respective Baltic states? (I actually heard this as a serious argument more than once!) I bet Sweden might also have had something to say about the legality of the Treaty of Nystad itself, its signatories being not exactly in a state of power equilibrium in 1721. --Illythr (talk) 22:51, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
The civil war which saw the Bolsheviks take power violated no treaty between sovereign states. Whereas the USSR violated multiple treaties it had signed itself (or reaffirmed what Bolshevist Russia had signed) in invading the Baltics, so there's no comparison of "legality" to be had there. As for Nystad, war was the way of the world then, so no issues on the legality of the treaty between Sweden and Russia. —PētersV (talk) 02:19, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
It violated the imperial law. I doubt that a revolution that resulted in a total collapse of the Russian state plus the murder of the monarch's family (plus plus plus...) was even remotely legal by any standards, Russian Imperial laws least of all. Thus, any treaties the Soviet Union signed or violated are meaningless, because they were all signed by an illegal authority. The last legal treaty concerning the Baltics was thus the treaty of Nystad. As for the latter - let me remind you that the two most devastating, brutal and bloody wars have taken place in the "enlightened" 20th century, so, clearly, war was "the way of the world" until the advent of nuclear weapons, which made conventional wars too costly to conduct. --Illythr (talk) 19:14, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

(RE on the beginning of the thread) Vecrumba is right, there were USSR, Ukrainian SSR and Belarussian SSR in the UN. (talk) 10:30, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

1940 elections[edit]

It's clear these were a sham and a mockery because non-Communists were excluded. But since no one else was running, and since turnout was low, might not the 94.7% figure be fairly accurate? Or was there in fact a much higher rate of blank/spoilt ballots?

Also - a rhetorical question - did anything happen in the LSSR from 1940 until the 1980s? Because from this article, it would seem not. Biruitorul Talk 17:36, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Since they claim LvSSR was not really Latvia, probably all of Latvia's history between 1940-1990 studied is just the history of that hand of people who called themselves Lv gvt in exile.Xasha (talk) 22:17, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Xasha, you're incorrect. there is a comprehensive study available on the subject that also includes Latvian SSR: The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940-1990; Published by University of California Press, 1993; ISBN 9780520082281. Glad to be helpful!--Termer (talk) 00:05, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Couple of things, all statistics regarding the "election" (accidentally released to the press in London 24 hours too early) were made up. Plenty of things happened in the Latvian SSR and there are reliable reputable references, as Termer mentions. —PētersV (talk) 02:19, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

1940 invasion[edit]

So, um, where did the fighting start? What was the order of battle? Key battles? What are the losses on both sides? Tanks? Personnel? Is there a precedent of one country officially permitting another country to conduct a strategic military operation against it? --Illythr (talk) 22:47, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Please address those questions to the sources provided in the article. thanks!--Termer (talk) 23:28, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
PS. what fighting started? Latvia had signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact on February 9, 1929 renouncing war as an instrument of national policy.--Termer (talk) 00:00, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, you know, invasion, forceful entry with the goal to directly topple the existing regime. Guns blazing, bombs dropping, that sort of thing. --Illythr (talk) 00:35, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Illythr, (last time I saw a movie about The Invasion there was no Guns blazing, bombs dropping; although there was a forceful entry with the goal to directly topple the existing regime exactly like in Latvia in 1940).Now, please note that editing WP is about citing sources, in case there are multiple points of views, each should be cited according to WP:NPOV. I appreciate your opinions and have enjoyed talking to you elsewhere on WP but please lets keep the talk page for it's purposes, improving the article thats not a place for general discussion about the subject. Thanks for understanding.--Termer (talk) 00:55, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Invasion and occupation do not require a state of war and do not require armed resistance. The Soviet forces already in Latvia were much larger than the size of Latvia's standing army. And the invading forces were far larger. Let's not gum up this page about personal opinions regarding what is and isn't invasion and occupation. —PētersV (talk) 02:12, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Invasion and occupation certainly don't require a state of war, many surprise invasions (like this one) were conducted without any prior notice. But can an invasion be conducted with the explicit permission of the invaded party?
Say, Vecrumba, you have always denounced the practice of googling up the necessary phrases and using journalist works to support one's POV (as opposed to consulting serious historic sources) - can you consult one of those? Preferably not one of those that consider it their duty to pile stuff on "Soviet historical doorstep", but actually try to be impartial. Because right now the first two paras contradict each other - one says that Latvia had accepted an ultimatum and gave permission to the Soviet forces to enter its territory (thus eliminating the need for forced entry), and the other says the Soviet army invaded. --Illythr (talk) 07:53, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
It must be me since I'm not getting it Illythr. How is a fact of invasion any different either an ultimatum is accepted or not? At the times when all 3 Baltic states were under Soviet military blockade by sea and air, the Latvian border guards were attacked by Red Army, are you suggesting that the Latvian government should not have surrendered by turning down the Soviet ultimatum like for example Finland did? Well, even though if I might agree with you on that one, it takes us towards general discussion about the subject that should be avoided on the talk page.--Termer (talk) 01:09, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
There's no contradiction. Whether or not a hostile act is resisted or not, it's an invasion. It's always been characterized as an invasion even by the Soviets (who were "forced" to invade to protect themselves against the Baltic military "plot" against the USSR). This is different from the earlier stationing of troops under the "pacts of mutual assistance" which resulted in the stationing of troops but no loss of sovereign authority, however, even the pacts have been characterized as totally illegal as they were entered into under duress. There's no "POV"ing here over the characterization of Soviet actions. —PētersV (talk) 05:04, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I mixed up the dates (one's 1939, the other 1940). Still, I am curios, where did you find a Soviet source characterising the entrance of new troops as an invasion (вторжение)? Well, anyhow, I propose to find a neutral historical account of what happened and use the wording there, replacing the three clearly anti-Soviet ones. --Illythr (talk) 10:05, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
It's not "anti-Soviet", it's merely factual. Just because it's not good for the Soviet image and agrees with what you might characterize as Latvian "POV" does not mean that it's not completely true. I'm tired of "neutrality" being defined as the truth is halfway between Latvian and Russian "POVs". The facts are the facts. Is there a reason to defend the Soviet Union's honor that I'm not aware of?
   BTW, your latest news quote in reference to the Soviets not occupying (that is, not impinging on the sovereignty of) Lithuania is a big problem, because that's not what the Russian-Lithuanian (pre-USSR dissolution) treaty (still in effect) says.
   Lastly, the Soviets having to resort to force and having to insist on a change in regime was in a WWII propaganda publication I ran across some time ago. —PētersV (talk) 19:53, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Don't mistake ethnicity as = uninformed speculative non-factual non-verifiable POV. I'm not one of those. :-) —PētersV (talk) 20:12, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
The best propaganda is always 100% factual - it's the presentation of the information and "proper" choice of (otherwise completely correct) facts that reveals it. The goal of Wikipedia is neither in "defending the honor" of the Soviet Union, nor in demonizing it by "piling up" its misdeeds at every turn.
Big problem: Please elaborate. My goal there was to find sufficiently authoritative Russian sources to flesh out the Russian official position, as opposed to using sweeping statements by its critics for that (a favorite tactic of Soviet propaganda, BTW).
Hm, what I read from a Soviet source describing the process, I gathered it was something like "due to an alarming developments in the West as well as signs of cooperation of reactionary elements within the [Baltic governments] with Nazi Germany, the USSR was compelled to move in more troops to safeguard its western frontiers". It then went on about a possible necessity to use force to "free the Baltic people of these reactionaries," but due to "severe pressure and indignation (возмущение) of the conscious working people," the use of force to achieve that goal was rendered unnecessary.
To PS: Huh? --Illythr (talk) 20:42, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

RE: Illythr I propose to find a neutral historical account of what happened and use the wording there, replacing the three clearly anti-Soviet ones
Please see Hard facts are really rare. What we most commonly encounter are opinions from people (POVs). Inherently, because of this, most articles on Wikipedia are full of POVs. An article which clearly, accurately, and fairly describes all the major, verifiable points of view will, by definition, be in accordance with Wikipedia's NPOV policy.
and The neutral point of view policy is often misunderstood. The acronym NPOV does not mean "no points of view". The elimination of article content cannot be justified under this policy by simply labeling it "POV".
Therefore anything that's according to your POV would be "anti-Soviet ones" would not need to be replaced, exactly like the "anti Latvian POV" in the article doesn't need to be replaced with a neutral historical account, meaning with "no points of view". Thanks!--Termer (talk) 00:05, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

That is only true for cases when no even remotely neutral sources exist at all. While the Cold war made sources that are neither pro- nor anti-Soviet something of a rarity, it is still possible to find them, if such a goal is indeed set (as opposed to "showing the world the Truth" about how nice or evil USSR was). A simple pointer to the right direction would be to avoid sources using words like "monstrous regime", "murdered millions" or "illegally invaded" and their counterparts - "progressive governments", "neutralized traitors to strengthen the country", "liberated the oppressed", unless these are subjects of the research.
Btw, the Bias, Impartial tone, and especially, Let the facts speak for themselves sections mainly tell what I mean. --Illythr (talk) 01:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

Let's not mix judgmental terms such as "monstrous regime" and reliable, verifiable facts such as "illegally invaded" as all being examples of not neutral. The Duma has yet to provide any evidence for its declaration that Latvia joined the USSR legally according to international law (so, existing treaties + Latvian law + Soviet law). It's not Latvian POV versus Russian POV. It is the Latvian (and European) position based on reliable verifiable facts versus Russian contentions based on the Soviet fact+mostly fiction "version" of history. —PētersV (talk) 05:58, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
"Illegally invaded" is just as judgemental as the rest of them, only less visibly so: There are no legal invasions. Pointing out that one (as opposed to all the others) was, marks bias against it. The right way to do it in this particular case would be to write something like that:
...following an ultimatum, a large contingent of Soviet troops entered Latvia. Shortly afterwards, as a result of aggressive lobbying of Soviet interests by its emissaries to Latvia, the government of the country was replaced with a pro-Communist one, that unanimously petitioned to join the Soviet Union. The petition was accepted by the Supreme Soviet of the CPSU and Latvia was incorporated into the USSR as the Latvian SSSR on (date)... Then, after the history section would go the controversy section, explaining that the Soviet Union and later, Russia, consider this process legal under international and Latvian law, maintaining that (documents, reasons, sources).
The governments of the Baltic countries (etc), maintain that the incorporation of Latvia into the USSR was illegal and regard it as a military occupation, citing (documents, reasons, sources).
Since right now Russia is the one lacking in the (documents, reasons) department (to my admittedly limited knowledge), this structure will demonstrate that it was illegal just as well, without imposing a judgement right away. Both positions should be short, concise and to the point, which, I understand, further supports the Latvian one. --Illythr (talk) 11:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
It's possible to have a legal invasion, for example, had Britain and France honored their treaty with Poland in WWII, they could have legally invaded Poland to repulse Hitler. The Allied invasion of Normandy was not illegal. Invasion in and of itself is neither positive nor negative. Also, in terms of size of forces, there were already more Soviet troops on Latvian soil (30,000) than the size of the Latvian army, who just had to leave their barracks and take over all government facilities, not to mention the large array of additional forces on the border. So please dispense with SARCASTIC RIDICULE IN CAPITAL LETTERS based on your incomplete picture of the situation. —PētersV (talk) 20:00, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll try one more time: of the invasions, the intent of which can be classified as illegal (you're right, not all, but the vast majority of them), none are actually called such by neutral historians - the illegality is made apparent by subsequent actions, a good historical account of which will not even draw such a conclusion, but lay all relevant facts before the reader and let him draw his own.
Actually, the paragraph following the one discussed here says the same thing (facts) in a more detailed and neutral fashion, making both the topic of this discussion, as well as the discussion itself, redundant.
As for sarcastic ridicule - it had almost nothing to do with the actual numbers - sorry, the link works now... sort of. --Illythr (talk) 22:48, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
On PS just feeling POVed today. Basically, the USSR painted certain diplomatic events as secret and military which were actually public and non-military, etc. etc. including, of course, negotiating repatriation with Germany (because of Stalin's secret negotiations!). Also, Russia signed a treaty which recognized the USSR's interference in the sovereignty of Lithuania (everything except using the word "occupation"), so when the ministry makes statements and all about it all being legal, they are disavowing what they put in a signed treaty. Can't keep lying about history and not get caught by your own words, eventually.
   Not a good time now personally, but I do have a Soviet tome that spouts all the USSR needing to protect itself from the Baltics, the Baltics plotted at every turn, all the USSR ever wanted to do is live in peace with its Baltic neighbors, etc. pack of lies. I'll eventually have that gem up on the web for reference. —PētersV (talk) 00:07, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll look for the treaty, then...
Do drop me a link when you do upload it. AFAIK, the Baltics themselves were not regarded as a threat in the late 30s, but rather, a potential "chink in the armor" (both strategically and ideologically), through which the Axis would be easily able to invade (same as with Finland, except the Winter war had shown - too late - that just the opposite was true with it, at least strategically). However, if said tome is propaganda of the "stupid" (i.e. purely internal consumption) type, I think you'll be wasting time - yours and mine - in uploading it. --Illythr (talk) 01:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, the USSR specifically accused the Baltics of a military plot. And the propaganda mentioned was created specifically for western consumption (in English, covering the three Baltic States and Finland), published by the Soviet (Dis)Information Bureau. —PētersV (talk) 06:03, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Then do post a link once the deed is done. A military plot - conspiring with Nazi Germany or planning to attack USSR by themselves, I wonder? :-) --Illythr (talk) 11:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

(OD) actually re earlier, "Then, after the history section would go the controversy section, explaining that the Soviet Union and later, Russia, consider this process legal under international and Latvian law, maintaining that (documents, reasons, sources)."
   If you take away the pronouncements carried in the news, "you can't occupy what belongs to you," and all, Russia has not produced a single document which backs the Duma's proclamation that Latvia joined the USSR legally according to international law. Anything that gets cobbled together in the name of "neutrality" in a description of the "why" of the Russian position is OR and SYNTH at best. There is no documented "why."
   Reference to the military plot is contained in the Russian list of accusations on how Latvia violated the "mutual assistance" pact and therefore needed to be invaded, sorry, presented with an ultimatum of let our troops in and we're going to take control of your country or slaughter you all. Read "Flimsy Excuses", for example. —PētersV (talk) 16:34, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

In a description of "why"? You mean the (reasons) part? Obviously, reasons, as provided by senior Russian officials can be added. If those do indeed lack substantial evidence - well, the worse for Russia. - unfortunately, judging by the wording on that page, that site is about as partisan as the Soviet propaganda it tries to fight (fire with fire, indeed). But if this ultimatum did indeed contain only those 5 points - it's quite a nice argument for Latvia. Perhaps a link to the original might be included around here somewhere? --Illythr (talk) 17:19, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

And on "the illegality is made apparent by subsequent actions, a good historical account of which will not even draw such a conclusion, but lay all relevant facts before the reader and let him draw his own." That is your editorial interpretation that views of invasions are opinion only.
   The Soviets had signed a treaty which specifically stated that there was absolutely no condition or circumstance under which the USSR could violate Latvia's sovereignty. As soon as the troops took over government installations, that illegal deed was done. There is nothing after the fact or interpretive about it. Illegal at the moment of the execution of the act. —PētersV (talk) 16:40, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

No, that was me agreeing with you that an invasion is not in itself (il)legal. Took over government installations - please specify. Barracks or government buildings? And what were the exact demands of the ultimatum? I would imagine, the Soviet presence became illegal the moment it did more than what was agreed to in that note. --Illythr (talk) 17:19, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary break 2[edit]

It seems this might be relevant, written about 500 BC by Sun Tzu The Art of War, Section III: Attack by Stratagem: Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting;...the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.--Termer (talk) 07:03, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Too bad this doesn't work all the time... --Illythr (talk) 11:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

The too bad of course depends on according to whose POV it doesn't work all the time, either conquers or conquered? From WP's perspective it doesn't matter really, both POV's should be there according to WP:NPOV. Unless there is a King Solomon around who would be able to take a "neutral stand" and tell how to divide a baby. Since it doesn't look like Solomon is gonna show up on WP to make the choices, the facts and opinions should be listed according to opposing sources and let the reader be in the shoes of the judge.--Termer (talk) 18:43, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

The too bad refers to all conflicts being resolved without loss of life, "by stratagem". Seeing as how I rather oppose the cutting up of babies (unless to save their lives), I would be willing to give up the article to the other, um, responsible party instead, should such a murderous proposal arise. --Illythr (talk) 19:04, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

In that sense I agree with you, just that your remark was out of context regarding Sun Tzu's teachings of The Art of War, how to Attack by Stratagem. That was related to the Soviet takeover of Baltic states in 1939-1940 and is directly related to this article and its viewpoints. --Termer (talk) 19:10, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Ah, I thought it was just a random comment. Still, I fail to see how it is relevant, other than the Soviet takeover being a successful implementation of Sun Tsu's teachings. --Illythr (talk) 19:30, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, there is the slight problem of the Courland pocket the second time around, costing Stalin nearly 400,000 dead or wounded. But equally off topic. At the time of the non-aggression pacts, Stalin told Munters that the USSR could invade Latvia tomorrow. Direct threats of annihilation by a vastly larger force is hardly a demonstration of sophisticated strategy. —PētersV (talk) 20:41, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, AFAIK, the invasion was fully in the works and only awaited a go-ahead signal, before being rendered unnecessary by Baltic acceptance (same as with Bessarabia). Direct threats of annihilation by a vastly larger force can be a surprisingly effective argument in the rectifying of international boundaries without resorting to bloodshed. After all, "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word." As for the applying Sun Tzu's quotes to the actions of Soviet military - this is something you'll have to take up with Termer - Sun Tzu was a mighty wise guy whose quotes can be applied in a most relevant manner to pretty much every military engagement or political conflict that had occurred since his time. --Illythr (talk) 21:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

the Soviet takeover being a successful implementation of Sun Tsu's teachings that's exactly how it is relevant.--Termer (talk) 20:03, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

PS: May I also express my mild amusement with the fact that this particular text by Sun Tzu is being hosted under an US-public domain licence, which also most shrewdly notices that it was published before 1921? Yes, I know about Lionel Giles, hence the amusement is mild, but still there. --Illythr (talk) 21:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC
Since it seems Illythr has got answers to how relevant in context is where did the fighting start? What was the order of battle? Key battles? What are the losses on both sides? Tanks? it seems we can close this chapter. Unless of course anybody would suggest, replacing invasion in text with Attack by Stratagem according to Sun Tzu?--Termer (talk) 17:25, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I suggest deleting that sentence in the article altogether, as the paragraph directly below it says the same thing in a more neutral way. --Illythr (talk) 17:29, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


The ruwiki article states that the SSR was established in 1918 and then suppressed by the whites in 1920. What gives? --Illythr (talk) 23:00, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Please feel free to correct the ruwiki article according to facts. The one that exited 1918–1920 was called Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (Latvian: Latvijas Sociālistiskā Padomju Republika), not Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (Latvian: Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika).--Termer (talk) 23:37, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Errm, swapped words? That's it? --Illythr (talk) 00:30, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the godfathers of Latvian Soviet Republics were not that inventive. Unlike the northern neighbors had, there were Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic in 1918 and Finnish Democratic Republic in 1939; and Commune of the Working People of Estonia in 1918 and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1940--Termer (talk) 00:42, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Hehe, yeah, the Communist Party of Moldova was banned, so Moldova is now ruled by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova. :-) Anyhow, shouldn't that republic be mentioned here in the background somewhere? --Illythr (talk) 08:08, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
A disambiguation might be in order. The Soviet propaganda notion that there's some continuity between 1918 and 1940 because the yearnings of the noble Latvian worker class was ruthlessly and bloodily (per the Concise Latvian SSR Encyclopedia) suppressed during the intervening period by the bourgeoisie fascists is, of course, simply a "version" of history with no facts to support it. —PētersV (talk) 18:49, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
The Great Purge made an effective end on that continuity. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 18:56, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes, there is that whole they were all dead problem. Stalin also ordered all Latvians shot just for being Latvian. Ah, it must have been the spirit of the proletarian revolution that carried on at the core of the soul of the Latvian worker.
   Then again, they could have been resurrected. After all, when the OSI was hunting Nazis with the (free and nothing asked for in return) assistance of the KGB, there were those Soviet-produced "witnesses" who popped up to testify against genocidal Latvians--witnesses who were verified for an indisputable fact to be absolutely stone cold dead. —PētersV (talk) 20:04, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to intrude into this lovely discussion, but whether or not there was a continuity is not really a point right now (until a source is presented that it was considered as such by the Soviet Union). However, both are attempts of essentially the same party to establish essentially the same rule/ideology on essentially the same territory. Soviet Latvia and all that. I think a para in the History section is in order to mention that. --Illythr (talk) 20:46, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, no, they are actually different events. Even though it was the Bolshevik military in both cases, the first attempt leveraged true Latvian communists (this was before they figured out the Bolshevik agenda), whereas the second attempt used imported Russian agitators to manufacture a "movement" for propaganda purposes and was externally imposed. Simplified version. :-) —PētersV (talk) 02:21, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

"backed by Soviet Union on the territory of Republic of Latvia"[edit]

This is a strange page, because every other Soviet Socialist Republic page ('cept the Estonian SSR) doesn't mention anything like this.

First, it wasn't "backed" by the Soviet Union, it was clearly both de facto and de jure within the Soviet Union as a Soviet Socialist Republic. Secondly, it was not "on" the territory of the Republic of Latvia, for all intents and purposes it succeeded the Republic of Latvia. It's like saying that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a state "on the territory" of the Republic of Vietnam. There was no civil war or massive rebellion that persisted throughout the SSR's existence to such an extent that the SSR can be merely "on the territory" of the Latvian Republic. It was clearly in control of every area it claimed to be in control of for 40+ years. And finally (the most damaging), Latvian men and women from exile did not suddenly enter the Latvian SSR in 1991 and overthrow the government. Instead the Latvian SSR was renamed and declared independent, just like every other SSR and even the Russian SFSR. The way the article makes it sound, Anatolijs Gorbunovs and Ivars Godmanis would have been executed as a collaborationist traitors to the Republic along with many others as order is restored by freedom fighters.

So either we revert this page to the same status as the Lithuanian SSR page, or we note that the occupation was seen as illegal according to international law but that the Soviets clearly had de facto control and ownership over the territory. --Mrdie (talk) 02:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Same as Estonia, never de jure. PetersV       TALK 06:01, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Concur with Peters. Martintg (talk) 19:55, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Disestablishment in 1990/1991[edit]

On 4 May, 1990 Latvian SSR was renamed "Republic of Latvia". Despite the central power of the USSR in Moscow continued to regard declared "Republic of Latvia" as Soviet republic in 1990-1991 the name "Latvian SSR" was not used in official documents in 1991.--Pirags (talk) 08:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Grammar, spelling[edit]

This article contains several misspellings and instances of bad grammar, e.g. "Soviet army personal present in the country was allowed to vote too". I would wp:FIX IT, but most of the misspelt assertions are also unreferenced, and I suspect they may need to be removed or given more comprehensive cleanup than I have time to give them. -sche (talk) 23:21, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

How about identifying the unreferenced assertions with an inline tag, that would be the useful thing to do, and wouldn't take any time at all. --Nug (talk) 11:57, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Infobox changes[edit]

Elevatorrailfan (talk · contribs), your change has been reverted so therefore please discuss your proposed change on talk per WP:BRD. The template style guide is clear, "If the predecessor and successor are the same, and this predecessor/successor continued to exist during this period", the State continuity of the Baltic states is well established, the Estonian government-in-exile is not relevant to that continuity as discussed in the sources, and in fact Latvia and Lituania had no "government-in-exile". --Nug (talk) 19:45, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Removal of flags[edit]

Without the previous and successor flags, anyone reading the article can not see/navigate the previous and successor, the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic's predecessor was the Republic of Latvia (the Republic before 1940) then the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic was under the German occupation. Then the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic was succeeded the German occupation, and the present day Republic of Latvia is the successor to the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Elevatorrailfan (talk) 02:22, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

It is confusing to have Republic of Latvia and Reichskommissariat Ostland being both the predecessor and successor of the Latvian SSR, that is why the infobox guide says not to have them if the predecessor and successor are identical. The history of Latvian template is already there to help navigation. --Nug (talk) 18:49, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

It should have shown up as 1940-1941 1941-1991 instead of 1940–1991, unfortunately I did not notice it until I viewed the history of the article. Elevatorrailfan (talk) 22:41, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

The Latvian republic was neither predecessor nor successor to the Latvian SSR. Both it and Reichskommissariat Ostland were foreign occupations of Latvia. For this article, there should only be the SSR flag indicating the periods during which Latvia was under Soviet occupation/defacto administration. Anything else is a mishmosh mixing occupations and legitimate sovereignty. VєсrumЬа TALK 02:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I corrected the timespan to be discontinuous. Two powers can't simultaneously occupy the same territory. VєсrumЬа TALK 16:55, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Disestablishment in 1990[edit]

On 4 May, 1990 Latvian SSR was renamed to "Republic of Latvia". Despite the central power of the USSR in Moscow continued to regard declared "Republic of Latvia" as Soviet republic in 1990-1991 the name "Latvian SSR" was not used in official documents in 1991.--Pirags (talk) 08:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)