Talk:List of military occupations of Latvia

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Request for Comment: Noncompliant[edit]

Does the article contain in your opinion any violations of WP:NPOV ,WP:Verifiability, WP:What Wikipedia is not and WP:OR?!! 08:02, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Statements by those previously involved[edit]

Comments by User:Novickas[edit]

Responding to request for comments at WP:Lith.

The article as written looks NPOV to me. Only 1 citation needed tag is in it; the German occupation section does need some inline citations.

The title could be considered POV, and hence problematic, because a significant minority - the Russian government - objects to the term "occupation". Their acknowlegment of that word would open the door to discussing reparations to this and other former Soviet republics. Citation needed, but shouldn't be too hard to find, and would add a valuable perspective.

The majority of the article covers Latvia during WWII, so I would vote for that name - with a good-sized aftermath section. More could be put into other articles, and the lead would have to be rewritten (which is of course not a trivial task). It does seem customary for historians to divide the 20th century into WWI, interwar, WWII, and post-war eras - that would also accomodate the expansions that will come to Latvian history on WP.

It would be a loss if this were to be derailed from Good Article over the title - so much good work and references. I completely understand the wish to link the series of occupations together - one long nightmare - but also think readers will find the events dreadful no matter how it's titled.

Hope this all works out. I would be happy to help when the dust settles a bit. Novickas 15:23, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

PS The pictures are definitely POV unless they can be balanced with pictures of Latvians in the concentration camps - a well-referenced event - and those pictures are nonexistent. Novickas 15:33, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Comments by User:Vecrumba[edit]

The article has not been allowed to develop because of ceasless attacks and diversion of editing resources into these endless disputes. Absolutely zero evidence has been produced from any reputable source by any editor opposing the article title or content to support the official Russian position, therefore it is noted appropriately but not dealt with as an "equal but opposing viewpoint." It is merely a "version" of history.
     The article is specifically NOT just about WWII, it only appears to be that way currently because, in fact, only the very first section regarding the initial Soviet occupation (prior to Nazi invasion/occupation) has been completed.
     I expect we'll have the usual accusations of tenditious editing, allegations of Nazi hate speech, denouncements of equating of Soviet liberation of Eastern Europe with the Holocaust, accusations of Holocaust denial, representation of the majority of Latvians being all to eager for Nazi guns so they could shoot Jews... I believe I've covered them all.
     Now that I've put the stake in the ground, yet again, I'm hoping to sit out this round of RfCs. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 15:46, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

  • As long as we're at it, I have not seen it pop up yet in both categories. If we're going to get the widest audience, let's make sure we get one. Hope springs eternal. I wish Termer luck in this venture, the last editor from the oppose-those-who-oppose-occupation camp who tried to bring things to a head eventually gave up and abandoned Wikipedia. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 16:28, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Comments by User:Termer[edit]

For now I'm just going to continue counting on Encyclopædia Britannica as the reliable Encyclopædia instead of WP. The Encyclopædia that is widely considered to be the most scholarly of encyclopedias. The encyclopedia that has an article:Latvia The Soviet occupation and incorporation [1], the article this one here is based on including the events from 1940, from July 1941 to October 1944. The article that in Encyclopædia Britannica includes A national renaissance developed in the late 1980s in connection with the Soviet campaigns for glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika + Soviet efforts to restore the earlier situation culminated in violent incidents in Riga in January 1991 . After a failed coup in Moscow in August, the Latvian legislature declared full independence, which was recognized by the Soviet Union on September 6.[2]. Thanks!--Termer 18:29, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


I have tried to suggest why certain objections to certain proposals were not founded in policy, but rather were matters of editorial judgement that should be discussed. Now I find edit-warring over the disputed tag. I said originally I would give you a week and then reconsider banning some editors under the probation, and I'll stick to that and give you a chance. However, don't assume you can safely predict who will be banned. Thatcher131 17:38, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Let me get this straight: you're telling us that we have to hold a discussion, but to not use arguments you don't like? Digwuren 20:18, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
This article is under probation. "Any editor may be banned from it, or from other reasonably related pages, by an uninvolved administrator for disruptive edits, including, but not limited to, edit warring, incivilty, and original research." An enforcement request was made (by you as it happens). I am now in the process of observing the article and the talk page to determine what action, if any, should be taken. "Disruptive edits" is not a well-defined term and is a judgement call. It might be, for example, that someone who says "Bad Article" but never offers constructive criticisms could be considered disruptive. It could also be that mis-stating policy and claiming "Policy forbids X" and refusing to discuss it further, when X is not forbidden by policy but is a matter for discussion and consensus, could be considered disruptive. Edit-warring over a dispute tag is definitely disruptive. Thatcher131 21:06, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Then observe that for every Baltic and Eastern European country there are is largely a separate set of motivated, knowledgeable, editors who bring plenty of sources which document irrefutable fact. Then observe perhaps one editor opposing "Soviet occupation" who just sticks to disrupting a specific country's article, plus then there is the floating cabal of anti-"Soviet occupation" editors, e.g., Petri, who inserts his accusations of Nazi hate speech and Holocaust denial, always unsourced, in all. (At least each one I've visited so far...) And, of course, always accompanied by conspiracy theories seeking to blacklist editors, as in Irpen's latest lobbying on your own talk page. [3] Not seeking to sway? Then why not discuss accusations and characterizations of editors' behavior in the open? I should mention Ghirla is also a particular fan of conspiracy theory accusations [4]. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 02:45, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Is the "Soviet occupation of Latvia 1944 - 1991" one of those "irrefutable facts"? -- Petri Krohn 03:41, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes it is. More to the point, regarding the opposing "viewpoint" which would constitute the supposed "debate," I am still patiently waiting for the first reference to be provided by anyone indicating the basis for the Russian Duma's official proclamation that Latvia joined the Soviet Union legally according to international law, which is the basis for the contention that Latvia was not occupied. I was hoping Vlad Fedorov with his multiple degrees and specialization in international law would be able to help out, but after some interesting debates (all involving WP:OR on his side, and, sadly, he didn't have basic facts straight even about what treaties the Soviets had signed), it seems he's been banned for a year for disruptive behavior. And that after I went to the trouble of adding to the Occupation of Baltic States article a complete compendium of all treaties signed and in force between Bolshevist Russia/Soviet Union, and Latvia and the Baltics, so he could easily cite them. ¡Qué lástima! At least he quoted something from a real book on international law along the way, which is more than I can say for the quality of sources the opposition has brought to bear to support their contentions here. As I recall, your best shot was that an encyclopedia article which described the Baltics as "part of the Soviet Union" proved they could not have been "occupied," that amid your additional (repeated) contention that portrayals of the Soviet presence in the Baltics and Eastern Europe as occupation are a post-Soviet phenomenon born of Eastern European vindictiveness (unsourced). —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 04:22, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Don't forget Stalin's first occupation, I assume leaving it out was an oversight. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 04:30, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
re: m (Protected Occupations of Latvia: you have got to be kidding me [edit=sysop:move=sysop] (expires 17:35, 8 September 2007 (UTC))) All that has been asked for is citation of reputable sources with regards to non-occupation. I believe I have already addressed the need for "Occupied Latvia" versus "Occupation 1, Occupation 2, Occupation 3,.. of Latvia" in multiple articles. Anyone specializing in Baltic studies (whether of Baltic origin or not) will support this editorial "judgement," viz. sources that have been cited here.
You've only been here, what, not even a week and you're already frustrated? Consider the rest of us who have been dealing far longer with unsubstantiated propaganda and personal credos regarding Nazi hate speech. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:07, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. For my part, I was just curious to see who would be next to revert me and what they would say. If you've reviewed any of the above, you would know that I couldn't resist reminding Irpen, yet once more, that sources are preferable to uncited (they never specify a source) emotive tags. His revert edit comment ("are you kidding?") was an open invitation. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Since we won't be updating for a while longer, you might consider visiting the Soviet occupation of Romania for more examples of casus I don't like it. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 01:52, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. "Invasion" apparently is a POV weasel-word according to Ghirla and Irpen and Grafikm_fr (further down) as well. [5] Just ran across this completely by accident. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 05:10, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I would suggest to replace the tag, that is absolutely irrelevant with one that would make more sense. Thanks --Termer 06:02, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


That would certainly be an improvment on the present situation. It more accurately reflects the whole infected debate over this article, without necessarily being partisan. In short, it is a more NPOV tag. And experience shows that articles can happily exist and develop for a long time with a POV tag ... — Zalktis 08:39, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. The problem with the article is not that it is merely not neutral but in that the article under this specific combination of title and scope cannot possibly be compliant. We have several events/periods/topics, connected but separate. Those are (best naming for individual events aside):

  • 1940 Soviet occupation
  • German occupation,
  • Soviet return
  • Latvia under Soviets
  • Elaboration on sources that state how and why term "occupation" is justified for the period when Latvia was a Soviet Republic.

The latter is a separate issue that well deserves an article. It should be Occupation of Latvia (term) which I would prefer to be merged with other states where similar arguments apply, like Occupation of Baltic States (term).

The other periods/events are well article-worthy in themselves and some of the articles already exist. There is absolutely no reason to fork these event articles by creating a new one that is nothing but a pasting of the others.

Well, there may be one legitimate reason to put together several events over an extended period of time into one article. That is if this is a history article we are talking about. In such case, the article's title should be neutral and devoid of judgment, even sourced one. Such title could be [[History of Latvia (1940-1991]]. Check the History of Poland series. It is divided into such articles. Partitioned Poland is a redirect to History of Poland (1795–1918). "Poland under Soviet domination" is not an article and the period is called History of Poland (1945–1989) and the latter "mundane" name did not prevent the article from being an FA.

The History of..." name won't imply that Latvia in fact was not "occupied". Neither it would imply that the Soviet Latvia was "liberated". These issues need to be explained in the text and not be stamped in the titles. --Irpen 10:01, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

That is certainly the best proposition I have seen yet on this tedious page. When it comes to dividing [[History of Latvia]] into subarticles, my proposition is: [[History of Latvia (1918-1940]], [[History of Latvia (1940-1945]], [[History of Latvia (1945-1991]] and [[History of Latvia (1991-present]]. Philaweb T-C 11:27, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Yours and Irpen's suggestion is inappropriate for a number of reasons:
  • "Occupation" is specifically to deal with the occupations and aspects thereof.
  • "History of" deals with everything that happened during the time period in question, I have absolutely no objection to "History of" articles, but they are not "occupation" articles.
  • Unless of course Irpen and yourself are advocating that for the entire period of Soviet occupation, discussing aspects of the occupation to the exclusion of all else constitutes a full and representative "history" of the period in question--is that what you suggest?
  • And, once again, "occupation" needs to be dealt with as a totality to adequately cover one of the most important aspects, which is how the Nazis and Soviets exploited each other's occupations across occupations. Again, I don't object to splitting for more detailed discussion, but this "parent" article is essential.
  • Finally, "less POV" based on what reputable source? No source has been presented to back up the Russian position Soviet presence in and annexation of Latvia was "legal according to international law." Produce a reputable source and we can discuss "POV", otherwise yours and Irpen's objections to using the word "occupation" are more WP:IDONTLIKEIT: effectively becoming nothing more than whitewashing attempts in the guise of "neutrality." The title should reflect the topic. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:21, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I see it, an article called [[History of Latvia (1940-1945)]] is all about wartime occupation(s), an article called [[History of Latvia (1945-1991)]] is all about peace time occupation, which naturally needs mentioning in the articles. Philaweb T-C 22:08, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
      Well, I'll bite. So, the reason to not call 1940-1945 an occupation would be? The reason to not call the 1945-1991 Soviet occupation (recall, not a single contrary source has been produced in all the arbitrations/mediations/et al. over this topic) an occupation would be? And what would be the purpose of mixing, say, the repressive purge of the nationalists in the 1950's with, for example, exploits of "Soviet" Latvian athletes in the Olympics, which would be part of a "history" of the period? Will an extensive section entitled "Soviet occupation" in such an article elicit the same howls of nationalistic bias? This is supposed to be an encyclopedia based on non-WP:OR sources. We have yet to have a single source produced to support the "liberation+legal presence" camp. Frankly, mixing a detailed accounting of Soviet occupation with, say, pork belly production, is inappropriate.
      I should mention that puppet government aside, Poland after WWII still counted as sovereign, the Baltics did not, so Irpen's title comparison is completely inapplicable. The title comparison that is suitable is Soviet Occupation of Romania, where this exact same Wiki-schmutz of editors with no sources (purporting to be neutral and inoffensive) disputing editors with comprehensive sources (accused of being biased nationalists) is being played out. I see no reason to not call something what it is, I see no editorial benefit to mixing occupation with unrelated matters (nor, based on the past actions of editors involved, any guarantee that coverage of "Soviet occupation" under such an article's sub-titled section will not continue to be disputed), and I see no reason to change a title when nothing has been produced from any reputable source by anyone to indicate otherwise. This is an encyclopedia compiled from scholarly sources, not from personal credos. Has Jimmy Wales announced some change in policy now requiring editorial conformity to unsubstantiated Russian Federation proclamation correctness as the new definition of neutrality?
      Finally, what is more offensive: a title that describes a period of Soviet despotism and the wiping out of Latvian sovereignty on Latvian soil as an "occupation", or not titling an article about exactly that as an "occupation" because editors with no sources to back their position and POV taggings simply object to it because they wish to persuade Wikipedia readers that "occupation" is one of two equally valid "opinions" and that "occupation" is, in fact, a nationalistic Nazi-hate-speech Holocaust-denying Russo-phobic weasel-word? This isn't even a debate--that would require sources produced by the opposition. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 22:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
The reason why I would not use the word occupation in the article title is because it is not NPOV. It is really that simple. It should be possible to write articles from a neutral point of view - citing all parties. The main problem with this discussion is the missing acceptance of the other part. Missing acceptance of Latvians who had seen many years of hard work and sovereignty being squashed and radically changed allmost over night, but also Soviet immigrants in large numbers who had fought under very hard conditions for their country against the nazis. Perhaps it is possible to get all sides represented? Philaweb T-C 23:30, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
And, finally, are you suggesting we establish the precedent that according to Wikipedia, the Soviets occupied no one in the post-war era? Because that is what dilution of the article title (along with carving it into inappropriate parts getting rid of the whole) will do--after all, if the articles on the Baltics don't say occupation, and they have an IRON CLAD case, then no other article should use the word "occupation" either. Either someone produces concrete reputable evidence for the Russian contention the Soviets were there completely legally or the title stays. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:35, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
With postscriptum to Irpen, re: "this specific combination of title and scope cannot possibly be compliant" Compliant to what? A viewpoint, sorry--version--of history that has yet to have produced in its support a single reputable source? The article is certainly compliant with reputable sources, and will continue to be if allowed to develop instead of the endless attacks cloaked in the mantle of seeking "neutrality." —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:46, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'd suggest to go for a compromise, removal of the tag would motivate editors to work on it. Until the dispute over the title is not over, the article is not going to move anywhere. Therefore, even though I don't agree with any of the opinions that mentioning of Occupation in the title is a POV, since evidence on WP Occupied Japan etc. speak of exact opposite. Therefore I think I'd have the entire basis I'd need to accuse the opponents here in applying double standards and political bias towards this article. However, it’s more important in my opinion to put an end to this nonsense and go for a compromise, go for a title for now that is acceptable by all the parties involved and in the end, if it takes 3 or 5 or why not 50 years, that is as long it took to end the soviet occupation of Latvia, we can return to the title issues once we have a good article put together here. I'm not going to return to this article until the issue is solved. Thanks--Termer 19:40, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

In other words, Wikipedia has just made a big step towards losing another top-notch editor who has found that the wikistress caused by ideological obstructionism just isn't worth it. Digwuren 20:16, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
The article Occupied Japan is really misplaced in this context - Japan surrendered unconditionally with an instrument of surrender. The difference between the Axis powers of World War II and the Baltic States is, that the Axis powers were aggressors who lost the war, the Baltic States were overrun by "liberators" without being involved with aggression themselves. Philaweb T-C 22:41, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Consider whether you wish to establish a precedent in compliance with not ever calling Soviet actions "invasions" or "occupations" because that's "POV." That is what is being lobbied for here. Irpen (and others) dispute "invasion" and "occupation" with reference to Soviet actions everywhere. Neutrality does not require placing unsourced contentions on the same level as reputably sourced facts. If you've gone through the history here or looked at exactly the same issue all over numerous Eastern European articles, this pattern of "objection" becomes absolutely clear. The objections have nothing to do with this article in particular. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:58, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I really think you are being stūrgalvis (pigheaded) in this case. Whether the word occupation is in the article title or in a header within the article is really of less importance. Main thing is that people are able to google for "Occupation of Latvia". Naturally, the occupants did not perceive themselves as occupiers, hence the POV accusations back and forth. I do think it is possible to write a NPOV article with all sides represented if we could at least keep the article title NPOV. How about a POV article on "Liberations of Latvia"? Philaweb T-C 22:26, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
      There's already a battle for Latvia article somewhere, that should do for covering the Nazi-Soviet conflict. Alas, Philaweb, you completely mistake and mischaracterize my objections to the opposition wishing a change in title. All I have said is:
  • The reason the Russian Federation gives for Latvia not being "occupied" is that its joining to the Soviet Union was completely legal under international law.
  • To present this as a "debate" / "differing viewpoint" / etc., please produce a reputable source showing how the Russian Federation interprets Soviet historical actions based on the Soviet Union's treaty commitments that can be taken as a possible interpretation supporting the Russian Federation position/Duma proclamation. Otherwise we will simply continue to note that the Russian Federation contends otherwise. I myself inserted that note into the article, which previously did not even mention official Russia differing with the West/Latvia in its portrayal of historical events. Hardly "pig-headed."
      This is so totally and completely and absolutely NOT about my "perception" that Latvia was occupied, or a personal opinion of mine that I don't agree with the "perception" that the Soviet Union liberated Latvia. This is ONLY about reputable sources and absolutely nothing else. Un par to es esmu stūrgalvīgs? On the contrary, all I am asking for is intellectual integrity. You (rhetorical you, not you personally) advocate an editorial position in support of the Russian Federation proclamation? Produce the sources.
      If the Russian Duma had not issued an official proclamation in this regard, the issue might not be as clear. But, in fact, thanks to the official proclamation of the parliament of the Russian Federation we have complete clarity. The Russian legislature says non-occupation is a "legal fact" (i.e., not an opinion or viewpoint). So, let's see it. I see no incentive to change the article before some shred of evidence is produced.
      BTW, have you read the article and talk for Soviet occupation of Romania? You might also consider perusing the following editor skirmishes:
and then consider how "pig-headed" I'm being. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 23:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
You are being pigheaded in my opinion because you are expecting the impossible of your "adversaries". You know perfectly well there are no sources, if there were they have probably been produced to the occasion. I do not advocate an editorial position in favor of the Russian Federation. I also do not advocate an editorial position in favor of the rightious "we-sure-know-what-is-facts-and-we-are-not-partial-in-any-case". I support an editorial position that takes more than "clinical facts" to account. No matter how you turn this issue there are two opposing parties to this arbitration, who both uses the term POV about their opposition. I hope, but see the difficulties in hoping so, that both parties would be satisfied if an article had a NPOV title with all sides to the issue represented in the text. This article could then be updated once the two political powers involved comes to a lasting compromise - The EU (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) on one side and Russia on the other side. Philaweb T-C 15:35, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Using offensive language at the ArbCom's probational article[edit]

A narrow comment on Vecrumba's entry above. Calling your opponents "this exact same Wiki-schmutz of editors..." in general, and especially on the talk page placed on the probation by the explicit decision of ArbCom, is a very ill-advised decision. It may get you banned from the page. I suggest you give it a thought. --Irpen 23:10, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I have only asked for sources. Advocating a position with no sources is intellectual dishonesty. Your accusing me of behavior meriting banning from this page is quite timely, given my response to Philaweb.
      It's unfortunate you only threaten, accuse of collusion/etc., people who disagree with your position. I see "Nazi" and "Holocaust denier" pass with narry a comment from you. I would contend that "schmutz" (primary definition, "MUD") is not offensive in that context. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 23:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I was unaware you now speak for Thatcher131. Do you not tire of endlessly threatening editors? Attack the editor, never actually answer the request for reputable sources (at least where occupation/non-occupation is concerned, and not just with reference to Soviet might in Latvia). —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 23:55, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I explained multiple times that it is perfectly possible to write a perfectly sourced tendentious article. Sourcing is not the only requirement of the academic integrity. Even nonsense can be sourced. Now, I do not remember anyone calling you here a Nazi or a Holocaust denier at this page lately, at least not since it was put at the ArbCom probation. Someone may have a position that the "occupation POV" is equal to Nazi-POV, the idea that I do not share, but this is not quite the same as calling the editors schumtz. I did not see here statements that Vecrumba is a Nazi, at least I have not seen such language at this page lately for sure. I simply told you do withdraw your offensive language and stop calling other editors schmutz, which is "mud" as you acknowledge. Your refusal and stating that you stand by your characterization is an indication of bad conduct in this content dispute. --Irpen 00:01, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Petri has not, for example, dragged out Nazi hate speech lately?
      I will assume good faith in your misquoting and misrepresenting my comment, let me repeat:
     "where this [QUANTITY 1: exact same Wiki-schmutz] [QUANTITY 2: of editors with no sources (purporting to be neutral and inoffensive) disputing editors with comprehensive sources (accused of being biased nationalists)] [QUANTITY 3: is being played out.]"
      Calling this whole engagement here a repeat of prior mud-wrestling is not an attack on any editor, it is deploring the situation that has once again developed. The only difference is this time the article has been fully sourced (what's done so far), but that would appear to be irrelevent as you would have us believe that the article takes facts (now with citations) and intentionally chains them together in a way which no longer reflects the facts, but pushes a POV denigration of the Soviet Union because there is lack of unanimity on the U.S.S.R.'s role in history. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 00:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. For microcosm of said mud-wrestling, read this section again. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 00:27, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I assume you are referring to this entry by Petri as I see no other at this page you may be alluding to. There is nothing here even remotely accusing you of being a Nazi or a Holocaust denier. This is a comment not even about the editors but about sources. You, however, repeatedly called other editors Shmutz right above as well as even earlier at the Arbcom and now repeatedly say that such characterization of yours is valid. And I never said anything about "POV denigration of the Soviet Union". Your pulling of the offensive language combined with putting things in my mouth amounts is nothing but disruption of this page that is explicitly addressed by ArbCom. I suggest that you moderate your entries. --Irpen 00:37, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I have not called other editors schmutz. Situations, absolutely. Situations require participants from both sides, so I am part of that same schmutz, and most certainly here, since I'm still here while other editors have thrown in the towel and left in disgust. (And perhaps you missed my "microcosm" comment?) You believe I'm insulting you. I'm sorry to disappoint you, this is not about you. At least you exhibited enough principle to accuse me of "offensive language" here instead of lobbying behind editors' backs directly on ArbCom's talk page, then insisting you're not trying to sway them. [6]
If you say that anything is possible with tenditious editing (creating a false situation out of a biased and selective editing of facts, you like the phrase "cherry-picking"), and represent that there is a difference of interpretation of events which merits retitling the article away from "occupation" (in the complete absence of sources which might explain the official Russian position, and absence of sources of any kind), and you appear to have a pattern supporting the (unsourced) disputing of the use of "occupation" and "invasion" with regard to this and other articles when it comes to characterizing Soviet actions, what should I or other editors conclude instead? The quotes are meant as a summation of your position based on the sum total history of these sorts of actions on the Latvia article and elsewhere that I am aware of, as empirically perceived.
Ghirla, you, Grafikm_fr (and others) have a demonstrated history of objecting to "occupation" and "invasion" without offering sources. Thereby tying up entire groups of editors as they deal with the dispute, meanwhile terminating all work on the article in question.
That said, this whole situation has nothing to do with you or I as an individual editors. It has everything to do with how far Wikipedia will continue to exhibit laissez-faire with regard to the tagging of articles, disputing titles, et al. as POV by editors who cite not one source in the act of that tagging. Perhaps WP will once again back out of this by saying, "Sorry, we don't get involved in content disputes. We recommend constructive behavior on the part of editors." As I've indicated, "disputes" require sources. Alleged disputes where one side produces no sources is not a dispute.
It's a sad day that decrying the repeated development of such situations (editors embroiled in controversies but with no sources to discuss, just allegations) is offensive.  —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 01:25, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Today's time capsule: Evidence page from occupation of Latvia request for arbitration seven months ago And changes since then? Baltic editors (Constanz) have left in disgust and new ones (Termer) are disgusted enough to not contribute until this ["offensive" word self-censored] is dealt with. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 03:45, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
And past accusations of bad faith (perhaps my personal ethics were dysfunctional) by Irpen [7].  —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 04:09, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
And, apologies, left this off the earlier sample list, the current Irpen-initiated RfA Digwuren. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 04:31, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Other encyclopedias[edit]

In response to Termer's comment about Britannica, here's what Encarta has to say about that period:

On August 23, 1939, about a week before World War II broke out, Germany and the USSR signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. The treaty contained a secret protocol that sanctioned the USSR to annex Latvia and its Baltic neighbors. Latvia adopted a neutral position after the outbreak of the war. However, in June 1940 the USSR accused Latvia of forming a secret anti-Soviet military alliance with neighboring Estonia and forced the Latvian government to resign. The same month Soviet forces occupied Latvia. Latvian elections were held under Soviet supervision (only one Soviet-appointed candidate was allowed to run for each position), and a communist regime was installed. In August Latvia officially became the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) within the USSR (a federation, or union, of Soviet republics).

So this puts an another reliable published source on the table. Reinistalk 19:45, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


Suva has stopped summarising the status. I'll try to do it for him, them.

  • Thatcher131 protected the article.
  • More sources, not all of them currently represented in the article, have been presented regarding the occupations.
  • Importantly, all of the sources further presented indicate that reputable historians have classified all three occupations as occupations, and frequently treat them together.
  • Neither Irpen nor Grafikm_fr has presented any contradicting WP:RS, instead apparently trying to justify the split-up by original arguments.
  • Vecrumba, Reinis and others have provided further discussion.
  • Neither Irpen nor Grafikm_fr has answered to the discussion. The only significant response has been Irpen's mock offence over Vecrumba using a German word when referring to mud-wrestling.
  • However, both Irpen and Grafikm_fr have attempted to expand this "dispute" to another article, Soviet occupation ([8], [9]). In neither case, arguments on the discussion page were made.
  • Termer, well recognised for his feracious neutrality and thorough source-checking, has announced he will leave the article due to disgust over the empty wikipolitics.

Digwuren 13:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Reason why I stopped summarizing is the same as of Termers. I am sad if they split up the article, or delete it as a whole. But talking is not really helpful if nobody listens. And wikipedia policies REALLY support Opinion over facts. We can talk as long as we want, it's enough when ONE editor says: "I don't like it" and the whole discussion is wasted. I stand back from editing this article and being involved from any discussion in it's talk page. Suva 14:33, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Hellooo! There is no need to make a drama queen out of me. The only thing I've said, we don't have a WP:DEADLINE, therefore whatever it takes, split it up, call the first one Occupation that is clearly not disputed by anyone, the second goes into Nazi occupation, the third occupation under Latvian SSR. Or rename the article. Since we don't have a deadline, we can return to the subject or the title and put everything together again in 50 years if necessary. Meanwhile everybody who wants can read the whole story at the same place from Encyclopedia Britannica. So what's the big deal with this, I'm not getting it! --Termer 06:23, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

      Well, you haven't been around for the previous wailing and gnashing of teeth... as I've said, the article should not be split because it needs to include/focus on how the Nazis and Soviets exploited each other's atrocities for political gain, used and abused the Baltics, and perpetuated fallacies which still survive as fact today. The notion that Balts were eager to murder Jews with no need for prompting from the Nazis (as has been maintained by members of the "opposition") is, in fact, directly traceable to documented Nazi lies.
      This would (likely) become more of a summary article over time, with details of each occupation in a dedicated article--so that this article can focus on themes associated with the entire thread. In terms of historical understanding, that's far more important than, say, just insisting it should be one article because Latvia was never in a state of not being occupied during the period.
      As far as I'm concerned, it's more important to keep the title and discuss the topic properly than to dismember it to "solve" a title "dispute" to appease a side which brings nary a source in defense of their contentions. I would rather the title AND the tag stay than slice and dice what needs to be a continuous narrative into pieces. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 15:28, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Thats cool Pēters J. Vecrumba! I agree with all your points and therefore I support your positions in general, even though in my opinion 3 articles would give an opportunity to tell the same story 3 times all over again by using prefaces and aftermath sections etc.--Termer 04:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

And get three more places where to battle with other editors. Suva 04:43, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
and get more than enough evidence of Wikipedia:Disruptive_editing and Wikipedia:Gaming the system. Please read the links and let me know if this looks familiar. Thanks--Termer 07:53, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Termer, I believe I have a minor correction. With this remaining as the parent article and (more detailed) WWII and post-WWII eventually broken out (based on growing article size) by war/post-war occupier, my math totals to a minimum of five articles. Of course it could be that my ignorance in arithmetic is as "legendary" as my "ignorance in international law"! —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 19:50, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Who occupied whom?[edit]

I've come across this objective, verifiable, scholarly source (it has a bibliography!) that proves that Latvia has always been Russian. Download and read it yourselves here. Ergo the USSR could not have occupied Latvia. If anything, Latvians occupied this ancient Slavic land... The whole content of this article is thus completely backward, and needs to be rewritten to reflect historical reality. (Enjoy the book; I certainly found it amusing.) — Zalktis 15:53, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

In light of this new data, I propose that this article is moved to Liberations of Latvia. Reinistalk 17:06, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I support renaming the article Liberations of Latvia. Then the only thing that needs to be specified in the text would be the backward Latvian and American and European POV, the backward POV of the European court of human rights etc. saying that the Republic of Latvia was liberated from it's Sovereignty in 1940, liberated from the Soviets by the Nazis and then again, liberated by the soviets from the previous liberators. I think that would make a good NPOV article that would be compliant with the content policies of Wikipedia!--Termer 21:07, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I also support the rename to liberate the article from evil POV! Suva 21:14, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} I have prepared the navbox of {{Soviet occupation}} but am unable to attach it to the article as it is protected. Please add the navbox to this article. Digwuren 16:10, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride 03:57, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Personal views versus referenced reliable sources[edit]

With regards to (allegedly) insulting editors, besides asking him in more than one Eastern European discussion, I Emailed Petri (quite some time ago) asking him the basis of his charges of Nazism, hate speech, Holocaust denial,... more than most I certainly understand that the personal experiences of family and friends influences one's view of the world—experiences which may not be not congruous with general historical realities. If Latvians have wronged him in any way, I most sincerely apologize—and certainly don't insult him. Everyone would like to hold their own personal views sacrosanct. But this is an encyclopedia, a compendium of verified information based on prior existing reputable scholarly sources, not a compendium of everyone's personal views equally presented as valid encyclopedic accountings on topics and issues.
     But here, one side brings no reputable sources at all, none whatsoever. Take for example this classic (recent) comment on another Eastern European page: "You want me to show you a source saying: 'Romania was not occupied between 1944 and 1958'? We both know that's impossible to find. Real historians write about thing that happened, only fiction writers find the need to emphasize that something didn't happen."[10] On Transnistria, I debated over sources with an editor eventually banned for sockpuppetry and, by all accounts, being a paid mouthpiece for the regime currently in power there. His POV was blatant. But as long as he produced sources, I could debate him on the validity of his interpretations (quoting obscure sources out of context and drawing unsupported conclusions was his specialty). I have yet to be given the luxury—no, the right as an editor—to debate or discuss a source brought forward by the opposition here.
     The conflict here and elsewhere in Wikipedia regarding Soviet power in the Baltics and Eastern Europe is demonstrably not about achieving a consensus on a balanced portrayal of information from reputable sources. It is about attaining a specific goal, in this case, renaming the article in order to scrub the words "occupation" and "invasion" from the Wiki-headlines (titles) where it comes to relating factual accountings of acts of the former Soviet Union. It is a place where personal quests for truth in the portrayal of the past are denounced as inflammatory, see Grafikm_fr's accusations against me [11] and my response [12]. And here, thankfully, an uninvolved editor makes a point of defending my edits, countering Irpen's charges against my editorialship (contending who am I to make powerful conclusions based on "simply ridiculous" assertions).
     An encyclopedia must be based on reputable, verifiable sources. Titles should reflect the topic of their article, not be renamed or inappropriately morphed into something else in order to bury historical truths. Wikipedia does not exist to serve and defend the fictional aspects of Soviet legacy—of which there are many—against Baltic and Eastern European barbarians[13] at the Wiki-gate. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 23:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Again, I propose archiving this entire sorry affair and moving forward with a fresh talk page—with the ground-rule that all proposed edits to the article, and all debates regarding existing or proposed edits, be based on verified reputable scholarly sources. I also (again) fully endorse the proposed rename to "Occupied Latvia."
       The age of unsourced WP:IDONTLIKEIT being indulged to run rampant attacking reputable sources and editors who have taken on the mantle to verifiably and objectively debunk Soviet fiction must come to an end. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 00:06, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Occupied Latvia (1940-1941)[edit]

Ok, the article is split up according to the suggestions. Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany 1941-1944 and Second Soviet occupation 1944-1991 make the Aftermath section of the split up Occupied Latvia (1940-1941). Hope everybody is happy with the suggested solution and everything is in accordance with the WP content policies. Thanks!--Termer 07:45, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, apart from Irpen's suggestion, there was no concensus for this split on this talk page. Martintg 10:00, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Termer, Irpen agrees with your idea because it lets him say that Soviet occupation ended in 1941. That is something people and sources do not agree with. It is a controversial split and your unilateral decision to split here is not appreciated.--Alexia Death the Grey 11:24, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

That was the middle ground, and the most supported also by third parties, therefore it's a consensus all right. Since it doesn't make any difference, and the "split up" article clearly speaks of when the occupation(s) ended, I have no idea what you guys are after here.--Termer 15:37, 14 September 2007 (UTC)