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a captive of superpowers in
the 20th century
(c) The Latvian Institute
Latvia – an independent state
18 November, 1918
Latvia declares its independence.
11 August, 1920
Soviet Russia (later – the USSR)
and the Republic of Latvia sign a
Peace Treaty. Russia acknowledges
Latvia’s independence and for ever
withdraws its claims for the
territory of Latvia.
7 April, 1923
The USSR and Latvia sign a
Border Treaty; Latvia’s Eastern
border with Russia defined.
5 February, 1932
The USSR and Latvia sign a nonaggression pact.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Russia and Latvia signing
Peace Treaty on 11 August, 1920.
Agreement between Moscow and Berlin
on interest spheres in the Baltics
23 August, 1939
Non-aggression pact between the
USSR and Germany: both
totalitarian states divide Eastern
Europe between them. According to
the secret protocol, Latvia together
with Estonia and later also
Lithuania, are absorbed within the
Soviet sphere of influence.
5 October, 1939
Threatening armed intervention, the
USSR forces Latvia’s government
to sign an agreement allowing
Soviet army bases on Latvian
territory. (officially called a
„mutual assistance agreement”).
Signing non-aggression pact between
the USSR and Germany in Moscow, 1939.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Germany J.fon Ribbentrop, the leader of
the USSR J.Stalin and Soviet Commissar for Foreign
Affairs V.Molotov.
(c) The Latvian Institute
The USSR occupies the Baltic States
June 16, 1940
Violating all agreements and
treaties between the two states, as
well as the principles of
international law, the USSR
delivers an ultimatum to Latvia. It
demands the formation of a new
pro-Soviet government and
announces the immediate
deployment of Soviet armed
forces to the country.
June 17, 1940
The USSR army occupy whole
territory of Latvia and take control
over the state.
The USSR army entering Riga on 17 June, 1940.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Forced incorporation
of Latvia into the USSR
21 July, 1940
After compulsory elections
organised by the USSR, power is
passed to the Latvian pro-Moscow
faction, which proclaims Latvia a
Soviet Republic.
23 July, 1940
The USA Foreign Affairs
department declares that the
occupation of the Baltic countries is
illegal and their incorporation into
the USSR is not recognised by the
5 August, 1940
Latvia is annexed to the USSR
against the peoples’ will.
Certification by Department of State of the USA
of non-recognition of the incorporation of
Latvia by the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, 29 May, 1957.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Moscow subjects Latvia to the first
22 July, 1940
USSR security forces arrest the
State President of the formerly
independent Republic of Latvia,
Kārlis Ulmanis, and deport him to
the USSR, where he dies in
imprisonment on 20 September,
14 June, 1941
15 424 Latvians are deported from
Latvia to Siberia: the political and
business elite of Latvia is
considered to be hostile towards the
occupation regime. Among the
deported are almost 100 infants
under the age of 1 and more than
3000 children under the age of 16.
Kārlis Ulmanis, Latvian State president.
Arrested after the occupation of Latvia,
died in imprisonment in the USSR in 1942.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Latvia under German occupation
June – July 1941
Latvia’s territory is occupied by the
German „Third Reich”.
March 1943
Germany begins compulsory
recruitment of Latvian civilians into
its occupation army.
1941 – 1944
The German occupation regime
exterminates over 90 000 Latvian
civilians, mainly Jews.
A draft order into German „Latvian SS legion”
issued to a Latvian civilian, 1943.
(c) The Latvian Institute
The end of the World War II and repeated
Soviet occupation
November – December 1943 and
February 1945
Tehran and Yalta conferences. The
leaders of the USSR, the USA and
Great Britain come to terms on the
after war order – the USA and
Great Britain do not object to
Moscow’s control over the Baltic
8 May, 1945
End of the war. The German
occupation army capitulates and the
USSR occupation power is reestablished in the territory of
Yalta (Crimea) conference on
4-11 February, 1945. The Prime Minister of
Great Britain, W.Churchill and the President
of the USA F.D. Roosevelt accept Stalin’s demands
that the USSR retain control of
the Baltic countries after the war.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Moscow organises a second round of
repressions in Latvia
1945 – 1956
A continuous Latvian national partisan
armed struggle against the second
Soviet occupation spread throughout
the country.
25 March, 1949
More than 43 000 innocent people are
labelled as enemies of the reestablished Soviet regime and are
deported to Siberia.
During the Soviet repressions of 1949
entire families, including children and elderly,
were loaded into in railroad boxcars and
deported to Siberia.
(a secretly taken photograph)
(c) The Latvian Institute
Restoring Latvia’s independence
14 June and 23 August, 1987
The first large anti-Soviet and
anti-occupation demonstrations in
21 August, 1991
Latvia restores its independence
and the Constitution (Satversme)
of 1922.
31 August, 1994
The last troops of Russian (former
USSR) occupation army leave
A demonstration in Riga on 18 November, 1989
gathers about half a million people who
demand an immediate end
to the Soviet occupation.
(c) The Latvian Institute
Recognising the consequences of the Baltic
Occupation by Russia
8, 9 May, 2005
The 60th anniversary of the end of German occupation and second occupation
of the Baltic countries by the USSR.
To this day, Russia, the legal successor of the USSR, has never acknowledged
the armed occupation and illegal annexation of the Baltic countries to the
By condemning this criminal act, Russia would:
demonstrate good will to the people of the Baltic countries;
 join the international community in an honest assessment of the history of the
20th century and the crimes against humanity carried out by two totalitarian states
– the USSR and German „Third Reich”;
 diminish Russia’s image as an external threat among the people the Baltic
 pave the way for a constructive, forward-looking relationship with the European
Union and NATO.
(c) The Latvian Institute