Law enforcement in Latvia
In 2003, the State Police consisted of 8,222 officers.
- "Valsts policijas darbības rezultāti noziedzības apkarošanā un novēršanā 2007.gadā" (.pps) (in Latvian). Retrieved 2008-03-04.
In 2003, the State Police consisted of 8,222 officers.
1. Latvia – Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2. The country has a seasonal climate. Latvia is a parliamentary republic established in 1918. The capital city is Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014, Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and 9 are cities. Latvians and Livs are the people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language, Latvia and Estonia share a long common history. Until World War II, Latvia also had significant minorities of ethnic Germans, Latvia is historically predominantly Protestant Lutheran, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. The Russian population has brought a significant portion of Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Republic of Latvia was founded on 18 November 1918, however, its de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II. The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation of Soviet rule and it ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, and restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic and developed country and member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO. For 2014, Latvia was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and it used the Latvian lats as its currency until it was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2014. The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, henry of Latvia coined the Latinisations of the countrys name, Lettigallia and Lethia, both derived from the Latgalians. The terms inspired the variations on the name in Romance languages from Letonia. Around 3000 BC, the ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Rome and Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals, by 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia, Curonians, Latgalians, Selonians, Semigallians, as well as the Livonians speaking a Finnic languageLatvia – Turaida Castle near Sigulda, built in 1214 under Albert of Riga.
2. Jurisdiction – Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility, e. g. Michigan tax law. In federations like the U. S. areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area to which such authority applies, e. g. the court has jurisdiction over all of Colorado. The legal term refers only to the authority, not to a geographical area. International laws and treaties provide agreements which nations agree to be bound to, supranational organizations provide mechanisms whereby disputes between nations may be resolved through arbitration or mediation. When a country is recognized as de jure, it is an acknowledgment by the de jure nations that the country has sovereignty. However, it is often at the discretion of each nation whether to co-operate or participate, if a nation does agree to participate in activities of the supranational bodies and accept decisions, the nation is giving up its sovereign authority and thereby allocating power to these bodies. The fact that organizations, courts and tribunals have been created raises the difficult question of how to co-ordinate their activities with those of national courts. But, to invoke the jurisdiction in any case, all the parties have to accept the prospective judgment as binding. This reduces the risk of wasting the Courts time, each such group may form transnational institutions with declared legislative or judicial powers. For example, in Europe, the European Court of Justice has been given jurisdiction as the appellate court to the member states on issues of European law. This jurisdiction is entrenched and its authority could only be denied by a member if that member nation asserts its sovereignty. Hence, in the Netherlands, all treaties and the orders of international organizations are effective without any action being required to convert international into municipal law, in nations adopting this theory, the local courts automatically accept jurisdiction to adjudicate on lawsuits relying on international law principles. Otherwise the courts have a discretion to apply international law where it does not conflict with statute or the common law. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the treaty power authorizes Congress to legislate under the Necessary and this concerns the relationships both between courts in different jurisdictions, and between courts within the same jurisdiction. The usual legal doctrine under which questions of jurisdiction are decided is termed forum non conveniens, to deal with the issue of forum shopping, nations are urged to adopt more positive rules on conflict of laws. In addition, the Lugano Convention binds the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, council Regulation 44/2001 now also applies as between the rest of the EU Member States and Denmark due to an agreement reached between the European Community and Denmark. In some legal areas, at least, the CACA enforcement of judgments is now more straightforward. At a national level, the rules still determine jurisdiction over persons who are not domiciled or habitually resident in the European Union or the Lugano areaJurisdiction – United States Federal Civil Procedure doctrines
3. State Border Guard – The State Border Guard is the border guard of Latvia. The State Border Guard is an institution subordinated to the Minister of the Interior, the State Border Guard is an armed institution and it serves to ensure the security of the state border and to prevent illegal migration. Every day more than 2000 border guards and employees of the State Border Guard fulfil their duties of service, currently the State Border Guard comprises the Central Board, territorial boards, including the Aviation Board. The State Border Guard College is an institution of education under the authority of the State Border Guard. On November 18,1918 the People’s Council proclaiming independence of the Republic of Latvia as well declared temporary newly established state border, for the purposes of its protection on 7 November,1919 Jānis Balodis, Latvian Army Commander-in-Chief, issued an order to form border guard units. The activities of border guards were based on the border guarding provisional regulations of the People’s Council. On 8 November,1920 the Border Guard was renamed to the Border Guard Division, on 2 February,1922 the Cabinet decided to disembody the Border Guard Division and to assign border guarding functions to the Ministry of the Interior. On 10 March of the year the newly established Border Police took over the border guarding functions from the Border Guard Division. In 1935 the Cabinet adopted a Law on State Border Guarding, within the Ministry of the Interior on 6 April,1935 a separate military unit was created – the Border Guard Brigade, Ludvigs Bolšteins was appointed its Commander. On 3 October,1940 A. Noviks, People’s Commissar of Latvian SSR, signed an order on disbandment of the Border Guard Battalions, on 10 October,1940 the Border Guard Brigade of the Republic of Latvia was liquidated. On 20 December,1990 the Supreme Soviet adopted a Law “On State Border of the Republic of Latvia”, on 7 November,1991 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Latvia approved the Regulations on the Order of Taking the Oath of Latvian Republic’s Soldier. On 11 November,1991 the first border guards of restored Latvian Republic took soldier’s oath in “Brāļu Kapi” of Riga, when Latvia reinstated its independence in 1991 the State border was renewed. By the order of Defence Minister of 23 November,1995 the Border Guard Brigade of the National Armed Forces was reorganized into the Border Guard Forces. From 7 January,1997 the Border Guard Forces are existing under the subordination of the Ministry of the Interior, from 14 February,1997 the Border Guard Forces were renamed the Border Guard of the Ministry of the Interior. From 1 May,1998 the Border Guard named the State Border Guard, from 7 April,2009 General Normunds Garbars leads the State Border Guard. AgustaWestland AW109 Bell JetRanger List of national border guard agencies Media related to Border Guard of Latvia at Wikimedia Commons State Border Guard official websiteState Border Guard – Emblem of the State Border Guard
4. History of Latvia – The History of Latvia began around 9000 BC with the end of the last glacial period in northern Europe. Ancient Baltic peoples arrived here during the second millennium BC, in the early medieval period, the regions peoples resisted Christianisation and became subject to attack in the Northern Crusades. Latvias capital city Riga, founded in 1201 by Germans at the mouth of the Daugava and it was to be the first major city of the southern Baltic and, after 1282, a principal trading centre in the Hanseatic League. By the 16th century, Baltic German dominance in Terra Mariana was increasingly challenged by other powers, the last period of external hegemony began in 1710, when control over Riga and parts of modern-day Latvia switched from Sweden to Russia during the Great Northern War. The increasing social problems and rising discontent that this meant that Riga also played a leading role in the 1905 Russian Revolution. The Constitution of Latvia was adopted in 1922, political instability and effects of the Great Depression led to the May 15,1934 coup détat by Prime Minister Kārlis Ulmanis. Latvias independence was interrupted in June–July 1940, when the country was occupied and incorporated into the Soviet Union, in 1941 it was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany, then reconquered by the Soviets in 1944–45. From the mid-1940s Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic was subject to Soviet economic control, since then, under restored independence, Latvia has become a member of the United Nations, entered NATO and joined the European Union. Latvias economy suffered greatly during the Great Recession which caused the 2008 Latvian financial crisis, worsening economic conditions and better job opportunities in Western Europe have caused a massive Latvian emigration. The Ice Age in Latvia ended 14, 000–12,000 years ago, the first human settlers arrived here during the Paleolithic Age 11, 000–12,000 years ago. They were hunters, who following the reindeer herds camped along the rivers, as geology of the Baltic Sea indicates, the coastline then reached further inland. The earliest tools found near Salaspils date to the late Paleolithic age, circa 12,000 years ago, during the Mesolithic Age permanent settlements of hunter-gatherers were established. They hunted and fished, establishing camps near rivers and lakes,25 settlements have been found near Lake Lubāns and these people from the Kunda culture made weapons and tools from flint, antler, bone and wood. The early Neolithic was marked by beginnings of pottery-making, animal husbandry, a local Narva culture developed in the region during the Middle Neolithic. Inhabitants of this age were Finno-Ugric peoples, forefathers of Livonians who are related to Estonians and Finns. At the beginning of the Late Neolithic, arrived people belonging to the Corded Ware culture and they were Balts, forefathers of Latvians, who have inhabited most of Latvian territory since the third millennium BCE. Baltic languages are ones of the oldest in Europe, retaining many connections to the Proto-Indo-European language, with introduction of iron tools during the early Iron Age agriculture was greatly improved and emerged as the dominant economic activity. Bronze, which was traded from foreigners because Latvia has no copper or tin, was used for making a variety of decorative ornamentsHistory of Latvia – Baltic bronze necklace from the village of Aizkraukle, Latvia dating to 12th century AD now in the British Museum.
5. Balts – One of the features of Baltic languages is the number of conservative or archaic features retained. German medieval chronicler Adam of Bremen in the part of the 11th century CE was the first writer to use the term Baltic in its modern sense to mean the sea of that name. This is the first reference to the Baltic or Barbarian Sea, the Germanics, however, preferred some form of East Sea until after about 1600, when they began to use forms of Baltic Sea. Around 1840 the German nobles of the Governorate of Livonia devised the term Balts to mean themselves and they spoke an exclusive dialect, Baltic German. For all practical purposes that was the Baltic language until 1919, scandinavians begin settling in Western Baltic lands in Lithuania and Latvia during Vendel Age and with interruptions their presence in Baltic lands continued most of Viking Age. In 1845 Georg Heinrich Ferdinand Nesselmann proposed a language group for Latvian and Lithuanian to be called Baltic. It found some credence among linguists but was not generally adopted until the creation of the Baltic states as part of the settlement of World War I in 1919, estonia and Finland, however, also became counted among the Baltic states in the geopolitical sense. Because the thousands of lakes and swamps in this area contributed to the Balts geographical isolation and it is possible that around 3, 500–2,500 B. C. there was massive migration of peoples representing the Corded Ware culture. They came from the southeast and spread all across Eastern and Central Europe and it is believed that Corded Ware culture peoples were Indo-European ancestors of many Europeans, including Balts. It is thought that those Indo-European newcomers were quite numerous and in the Eastern Baltic assimilated earlier indigenous cultures, over time the new people formed the Baltic peoples and they spread in the area from the Baltic sea in the west to the Volga in the east. This information is summarized and synthesized by Marija Gimbutas in The Balts to obtain a likely proto-Baltic homeland, a possible early reference to a Baltic people occurs in 98 CE, when Tacitus names a tribe living near the Baltic Sea as the Aesti and describes them as amber gatherers. However, it is not clear if the Aesti mentioned by Tacitus were, a Baltic people, or, the Aesti appear to have inhabited the Sambian peninsula (in or near the present Kaliningrad Oblast. Over time, the area of Baltic habitation shrank, due to assimilation by other groups, finally, according to Slavic chronicles of the time, they warred with Slavs, and perhaps, were defeated and assimilated some time in the 11th to 13th centuries. Balts became differentiated into Western and Eastern Balts in the late centuries BCE, the eastern Baltic region was inhabited by ancestors of the Western Balts, Brus/Prūsa, Sudovians/Jotvingians, Scalvians, Nadruvians, and Curonians. The Eastern Balts, including the hypothesised Dniepr Balts, were living in modern-day Belarus, Ukraine, many other Eastern and Southern Balts either assimilated with other Balts, or Slavs in the 4th–7th centuries and were gradually slavicized. Gradually Old Prussians became Germanized or some Lithuanized during period from the 15th to the 17th centuries, the cultures of the Lithuanians and Latgalians/Latvians survived and became the ancestors of the populations of the modern countries of Latvia and Lithuania. Old Prussian was closely related to the other extinct Western Baltic languages and it is more distantly related to the surviving Eastern Baltic languages, Lithuanian and Latvian. Compare the Prussian word seme, the Latvian zeme, the Lithuanian žemė, Old Prussian contained a few borrowings specifically from Gothic and even North GermanicBalts – Map of eastern Europe in 3-4th century AD with archeological cultures identified as Baltic-speaking in purple. Their area extended from the Baltic Sea to modern Moscow.
6. Kunda culture – The oldest known Kunda culture settlement in Estonia is Pulli settlement. The Kunda Culture is succeeded by the Narva culture who use pottery, most Kunda settlements are located near the edge of the forests beside rivers, lakes, or marshes. Elk were extensively hunted, perhaps helped by trained domestic hunting-dogs, on the coast seal hunting is represented. Pike and other fish were taken from the rivers, there is a rich bone and antler industry, especially in relation to fishing gear. Tools were decorated with geometric designs, lacking the complexity of the contemporary Maglemosian Culture communities to the southwest. The Kunda culture appears to have undergone a transition from the Palaeolithic Swiderian culture located previously over much of the same range, one such transition settlement, Pasieniai 1C in Lithuania, features stone tools of both Late Swiderian and early Kunda. One shape manufactured in both cultures is the retouched tanged point, the final Swiderian is dated 7800–7600 BC by calibrated radiocarbon dating, which is in the Preboreal period, at the end of which time with no gap the early Kunda begins. Evidently the descendants of the Swiderians were the first to settle Estonia when it became habitable, other post-Swiderian groups extended as far east as the Ural mountains. Kunda, Estonia Pulli, Estonia Luga Pasieniai, Lithuania Ristola, Finland Velizh Zvejnieki, LatviaKunda culture – Tools of Kundra Culture
7. Narva culture – A successor of the Mesolithic Kunda culture, Narva culture continued up to the start of the Bronze Age. The technology was that of hunter-gatherers, the culture was named after the Narva River in Estonia. The people of the Narva culture had little access to flint, therefore, they were forced to trade, for example, there were very few flint arrowheads and flint was often reused. The Narva culture relied on local materials, heavy use of bones and horns is one of the main characteristics of the Narva culture. The bone tools, continued from the predecessor Kunda culture, provide the best evidence of continuity of the Narva culture throughout the Neolithic period, the people were buried on their backs with few grave goods. The Narva culture also used and traded amber, a few hundred items were found in Juodkrantė, one of the most famous artifacts is a ceremonial cane carved of horn as a head of female elk found in Šventoji. The people were primarily fishers, hunters, and gatherers and they slowly began adopting husbandry in middle Neolithic. They were not nomadic and lived in same settlements for periods as evidenced by abundant pottery, middens. The pottery shared similarities with Comb Ceramic culture, but had specific characteristics, one of the most persistent features was mixing clay with other organic matter, most often crushed snail shells. The pottery was made of 6-to-9 cm wide clay strips with minimal decorations around the rim, the vessels were wide and large, the height and the width were often the same. The bottoms were pointed or rounded, and only the latest examples have narrow flat bottoms, from mid-Neolithic Narva pottery was influenced and eventually disappeared into the Corded Ware culture. For a long time believed that the first inhabitants of the region were Finno-Ugric. In 1931, Latvian archeologist Eduards Šturms was the first to note that artifacts found near Zebrus Lake in Latvia were different, in early 1950s settlements on the Narva River were excavated. Lembit Jaanits and Nina Gurina grouped the findings with similar artifacts from eastern Baltic region, at first it was believed that Narva culture ended with appearance of the Corded Ware culture. However, newer research extended it up to the Bronze Age, as Narva culture spanned several millenniums and encompassed a large territory, archaeologists attempted to subdivide the culture into regions or periods. For example, in Lithuania two regions are distinguished, southern and western, there is an academic debate what ethnicity represented the Narva culture, Finno-Ugrians or other Europids, preceding arrival of the Indo-Europeans. It is also unclear how the Narva culture fits with the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, overview of Neolithic sites on Narva River in EstoniaNarva culture – Pottery of the Narva culture
8. Corded Ware culture – Corded Ware culture encompassed a vast area, from the Rhine on the west to the Volga in the east, occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The Corded Ware was genetically related to the Yamnaya culture. The Corded Ware culture may have disseminated the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic Indo-European languages, the Corded Ware Culture also shows genetic affinity with the later Sintashta culture, where the proto-Indo-Iranian language originated. The term Corded Ware culture was first introduced by the German archaeologist Friedrich Klopfleisch in 1883 and he named it after cord-like impressions or ornamentation characteristic of its pottery. The term Single Grave culture comes from its burial custom, which consisted of inhumation under tumuli in a position with various artifacts. Battle Axe culture, or Boat Axe culture, is named from its characteristic grave offering to males, at the same time, they had several shared elements that are characteristic of all Corded Ware groups, such as their burial practices, pottery with cord decoration and unique stone-axes. The contemporary Beaker culture overlapped with the extremity of this culture, west of the Elbe. The origins and dispersal of Corded Ware culture was for a time one of the pivotal unresolved issues of the Indo-European Urheimat problem. Its wide area of distribution indicates rapid expansion at the time of the dispersal of Indo-European languages. Some archaeologists believed it sprang from central Europe while others saw an influence from nomadic societies of the steppes. In favour of the first view was the fact that Corded Ware coincides considerably with the earlier north-central European Funnelbeaker culture, according to Gimbutas, the Corded Ware culture was preceded by the Globular Amphora culture, which she regarded to be an Indo-European culture. The Globular Amphora culture stretched from central Europe to the Baltic sea, however, in other regions Corded Ware appears to herald a new culture and physical type. The degree to which cultural change generally represents immigration were matter of debate, according to controversial radiocarbon dates, Corded Ware ceramic forms in single graves develop earlier in the area that is now Poland than in western and southern Central Europe. The earliest radiocarbon dates for Corded Ware indeed come from Kujawy and Lesser Poland in central and southern Poland, whereas in the area of the present Baltic states and East Prussia, it is seen as an intrusive successor to the southwestern portion of the Narva culture. However, today Corded Ware is now seen as intrusive, though not necessarily aggressively so. A Genetic study conducted by Haak et al, about 75% of the DNA of late Neolithic Corded Ware skeletons found in Germany was a precise match to DNA from individuals of the Yamnaya culture. Haak et al. also note that their results suggest that haplogroups R1b and R1a spread into Europe from the East after 3,000 BCE.5 In terms of phenotypes, Wilde et al. and Haak et al. Autosomal DNA tests also indicate that the Yamnaya migration from the steppes introduced a component of ancestry referred to as Ancient North Eurasian admixture into EuropeCorded Ware culture – Boat-shaped battle axe from Närke
9. Terra Mariana – Terra Mariana was the official name for Medieval Livonia or Old Livonia, which was formed in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade in the territories comprising present day Estonia and Latvia. It was established on 2 February 1207, as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1346 the Order bought Danish Estonia. Following its defeat in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 the Teutonic Order, in 1561, during the Livonian war, Terra Mariana ceased to exist. The island of Saaremaa became part of Denmark, since the beginning of the 20th century Terra Mariana has been used as a poetic name or sobriquet for Estonia. In 1995 the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, a decoration, was instituted to honor the independence of Estonia. The lands on the shores of the Baltic Sea were the last part of Europe to be Christianized by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1193 Pope Celestine III called for a crusade against the pagans in Northern Europe and this crusade is often compared to the crusade of the Franks and Charlemagne. However, this crusade was not officially announced until 1197 or 1198, at the beginning of the 13th century, German crusaders from Gotland and the northern Holy Roman Empire conquered the Livonian and Latvian lands along the Daugava and Gauja rivers. The stronghold of Riga was established in 1201, and in 1202 the Livonian Brothers of the Sword was formed as a branch of the Knights Templar, in 1218 Pope Honorius III gave Valdemar II of Denmark free rein to annex as much land as he could conquer in Estonia. The last to be subjugated and Christianised were Oeselians, Curonians and Semigallians and this crusade differed from many other crusades because, in this case, the Pope allowed people intending to go on a crusade to the Holy Land to go instead to crusade in Livonia. Members of this crusade were made to wear the insignia of the cross as well, after the success of the crusade, the German- and Danish-occupied territory was divided into feudal principalities by William of Modena. Medieval Livonia was intermittently ruled first by the Brothers of the Sword, since 1237 by the branch of Teutonic knights called Livonian Order. By the mid 14th century, after buying the Duchy of Estonia from Christopher II, the Livonian Order controlled about 67,000 square kilometers of the Old Livonia, the lands of the Order were divided into about 40 districts governed by a Vogt. The largest ecclesiastical state was the Archbishopric of Riga followed by the Bishopric of Courland, Bishopric of Dorpat, the nominal head of Terra Mariana as well as the city of Riga was the Archbishop of Riga as the apex of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. In 1240 Valdemar II created the Bishopric of Reval in the Duchy of Estonia by reserving the right to appoint the bishops of Reval to himself and his successor kings of Denmark. The decision to nominate to the See of Reval was unique in the whole Catholic Church at the time and was disputed by bishops. Two major civil wars were fought in 1296–1330, 1313–1330, technically, the Archbishop of Riga was the feudal and ecclesiastical superior, first over the Teutonic Knights, later over the Livonian Order. But the Archbishop did not become the dominant political power, already the Knights had thrown off the episcopal dominion, the bishops of Dorpat, Courland and Ösel-Wiek were lesser powersTerra Mariana – Three Mighty Ladies from Livonia by Albrecht Dürer (1521)
10. Kingdom of Livonia – The Kingdom of Livonia was a nominal state in what is now the territory of Estonia and Latvia. The Russian Tsar Ivan IV declared the establishment of the kingdom during the Livonian War of 1558-1583, on June 10,1570 the Danish Duke Magnus of Holstein arrived in Moscow, where he was crowned King of Livonia. Magnus took the oath of allegiance to Ivan as his overlord, the treaty between Magnus and Ivan IV was signed by an oprichnik and by a member of the zemskii administration, the diak Vasiliy Shchelkalov. The territories of the new kingdom still had to be conquered. The new king Magnus of Livonia departed from Moscow with 20,000 Russian soldiers for the conquest of Swedish-controlled Reval, Ivans hope for the support of King Frederick II of Denmark, the older brother of Magnus, failed. By the end of March 1571 Magnus gave up the struggle for Reval, in 1577, having lost Ivans favor and getting no support from his brother, Magnus called on the Livonian nobility to rally to him in a struggle against foreign occupation. Ivans forces attacked him and took him prisoner, on his release he renounced his royal title. Magnus spent the last six years of his life at the castle of Pilten in the Bishopric of Courland where he died as a pensioner of the Polish crown. The end of the Livonian War in August 1583 saw most of the territory of Old Livonia under the control of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with Swedish control established in the Duchy of Estonia, møntfund i Estland med danske Vikingemønter Die Münzen von Herzog MagnusKingdom of Livonia – Livonia, as shown in the map of 1573 of Joann Portantius.
11. Swedish Livonia – Swedish Livonia was a dominion of the Swedish Empire from 1629 until 1721. The minority part of the Wenden Voivodeship retained by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was renamed the Inflanty Voivodeship, riga was the second largest city in the Swedish Empire at the time. Together with other Baltic Sea dominions, Livonia served to secure the Swedish dominium maris baltici, the territory in turn was conquered by the Russian Empire during the Great Northern War and, following the Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710, formed the Governorate of Livonia. Formally, it was ceded to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, together with Swedish Estonia, the dominion was ruled by appointed Governors-General, but retained its own dietSwedish Livonia
12. Inflanty Voivodeship – The Inflanty Voivodeship was one of the few territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to be ruled jointly by Poland and Lithuania. The seat of the voivode was Dyneburg, the name Inflanty is derived through Polonization of Livland, the German name for Livonia. In modern times the region is known as Latgalia in the Republic of Latvia, miles It was inhabited by the Latvians, whose language is similar to Lithuanian, but still differs from it, as the Latvians interacted and mixed with the Estonians in central and northern Inflanty. The province, together with Courland, was in the 13th century conquered by the Germans of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. Later on, however, facing three powerful neighbours, Muscovy, Swedish Empire, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the found it difficult to keep their independence. After Estonia had been seized by Sweden, Great Master Gotthard Kettler voluntarily decided to seek for help from Polish king, with permission of Livonian towns and knights, on 28 November 1561 in Vilnius, a document was signed, which turned Livonia into a Polish-Lithuanian fief. The post-1660 Inflanty Voivodeship was divided into four so-called tracts, named after seats of starostas and these were Dyneburg, Rzezyca, Piltyn, Marienhaus, and Lucyn. Local sejmiks took place at Dyneburg, while starostas resided at Dyneburg, Lucyn, Rzezyca and Marienhaus. The voivodeship had six deputies to the Sejm, but only two of them came from Inflanty, the four were symbolically named by the king. Two deputies were elected to the committee at Grodno Inflanty had several noble familiesInflanty Voivodeship – Inflanty in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1635.
13. Governorate of Livonia – The Governorate of Livonia, was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire, now divided between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia. Sweden formally ceded Swedish Livonia to Russia in 1721 with the Treaty of Nystad, in 1722 Tartu County was added to Riga Governorate. In 1726 Smolensk Governorate was separated from Governorate, which now had five provinces - Rīga, Cēsis, Tartu, Pärnu, in 1783 the Sloka County was added. On July 3,1783 Catherine the Great reorganized Governorate into Riga Lieutenancy, only in 1796, after the Third Partition of Poland this territory was renamed as the Governorate of Livonia. Until late 19th century the governorate was not ruled by Russian laws but was administered autonomously by the local German Baltic nobility through feudal Landtag, German nobles insisted on preserving their privileges and use of German language. After the Russian February Revolution in 1917, the part of the Governorate of Livonia was combined with the Governorate of Estonia to form a new Autonomous Governorate of Estonia. The Autonomous Governorate of Estonia issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence on 24 February 1918, the Governorate of Livonia was divided into 9 counties. However the new border between the Governments of Estonia and Livland was never properly demarcated, by the Imperial census of 1897. In bold are languages spoken by more people than the state language, administrative divisions of Russia in 1713-1714 Baltic governorates Courland Governorate Estonia Governorate Livonian ConfederationGovernorate of Livonia
14. New Current – The New Current in the history of Latvia was a broad leftist social and political movement that followed the First Latvian National Awakening and culminated in the 1905 Revolution. Participants in the movement were called jaunstrāvnieki, the beginning of the New Current is usually given as 1886, when the movements newspaper, Dienas Lapa, was founded by Pēteris Bisenieks, who ran the Riga Latvian Craftsmens Credit Union. Pēteris Stučka, who headed the Latvian Bolsheviks, became the editor of Dienas Lapa in 1888. From 1891 to 1896, the paper was edited by Bisenieks, the historian Arveds Švābe describes the New Current as connected to the political awakening of the Latvian working class, its first organizations, and the propagandization of socialist ideas. Rainis smuggled German Marxist literature into Latvia in two pieces of luggage in 1893, the work of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and this luggage with the dangerous contents, as the historian Uldis Ģērmanis called it, was the seed of the Latvian Social Democratic PartyNew Current
15. Latvian Riflemen – Latvian riflemen were originally a military formation of the Imperial Russian Army assembled starting 1915 in Latvia in order to defend Baltic territories against Germans in World War I. Initially the battalions were formed by volunteers, and from 1916 by conscription among the Latvian population, a total of about 40,000 troops were drafted into the Latvian Riflemen Division. Towards the end of the 19th century, Riga, the capital of Latvia, the Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party was well organised and its leading elements were increasingly sympathetic to the Bolsheviks by the time of the 1905 Revolution. When punitive expeditions were mounted by the state following this, armed resistance groups - often affiliated to the LSDRP - were set up to conduct warfare against the Tsarist regime. Many of these fighters were subsequently recruited into the Latvian Rifles. At the outbreak of war Indriķis Lediņš, the Latvian chief of police in Vladivostok, had called for the establishment of Latvian Cavalry units, as Germany was advancing into Latvia, they argued, such units would be particularly effective. Latvians knew the area and had high morale because despite the policy of Russification, at Jelgava two battalions of the Latvian Home Guard had already held back the German advance guard. Following increasing German advances, the Russian Stavka approved the measure, on the same day Latvian deputies Jānis Goldmanis and Jānis Zālītis published a patriotic appeal Pulcējaties zem latvju karogiem in Riga. First volunteers started to apply on August 12 at Riga and it was planned to form two battalions but volunteers were so many that actually three battalions were formed. The first battalions consisted mainly from volunteers, especially refugees from Courland, later a number of Latvians from other Russian units joined or were transferred to the Latvian Rifles. From 1915 to 1917, the Latvian Riflemen fought in the Russian army against the Germans in positions along the Daugava river, in 1916 Latvian battalions were transformed to regiments as conscription started among the local population. Also many new units were formed. In total eight combat and one regiment were formed. In December 1916 and January 1917, the Latvian riflemen suffered heavy casualties in the month-long Christmas Battles, suffering heavy casualties, Latvian riflemen managed to break the German line of defence but the effort was wasted as the attack was not followed through. The Russian Army lost over 26,000 soldiers in the failed attack, the casualties included 9,000 Latvian riflemen, about a third of the total number at that time. The heavy casualties resulted in a strong resentment against the Russian generals and this resentment led to an increased support for the Bolsheviks, who were advocating an end to the war. Structure of the United Latvian Riflemen division, in May 1917 the Latvian Regiments transferred their loyalty to the Bolsheviks. They became known as Red Latvian Riflemen and actively participated in the Russian Civil War, the Riflemen took an active part in the suppression of anti-Bolshevik uprisings in Moscow and Yaroslavl in 1918Latvian Riflemen – 1916 Uniform of Latvian Riflemen
16. Latvian War of Independence – The war involved Latvia against the Russian SFSR and the Bolsheviks short-lived Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic. Germany and the Baltic nobility added another level of intrigue, initially being nominally allied to the Nationalist/Allied force, eventually tensions flared up after a German coup against the Latvian government, leading to open war. Following a cease-fire, the Germans developed a ploy, nominally dissolving into the West Russian Volunteer Army led by Gen. Pavel Bermont-Avalov, certain episodes of the Latvian Independence War were also part of the Polish-Soviet War, particularly the Battle of Daugavpils. 11 November, The German Empire and Allies of World War I sign the armistice, the British Empire recognizes de facto independence of Latvia. 17 November, The first legislative institution of Latvia, the Peoples Council, Jānis Čakste becomes the chairman of the People’s Council, while Kārlis Ulmanis becomes prime minister. 18 November, Republic of Latvia is proclaimed in Riga,28 November, The Regency Council of the United Baltic Duchy dissolved. 1 December, The Red Army invades Latvia,17 December, The government of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic, headed by Pēteris Stučka, is formed in Russia. 5 January, The first armed unit of Latvia—the 1st Latvian Independent Battalion, the provisional government retreats from Jelgava to Liepāja. 31 January, Most of Latvia is under the control of the Red Army,18 February, Agreement is signed between Estonia and Latvia, starting formation of North Latvian Brigade led by Jorģis Zemitāns on Estonian territory. 3 March, United German and Latvian forces commence counterattack against the forces of Soviet Latvia,6 March, Oskars Kalpaks, commander of all Latvian forces subordinated to German headquarters, is killed by German friendly fire. He is replaced by Jānis Balodis,10 March, Saldus comes under Latvian control. 21 March, 1st Latvian Independent Battalion is reformed into the Latvian Independent Brigade,16 April, The puppet Latvian Government established by the Baltic nobility organizes a coup detat in Liepāja, the provisional national government of Latvia takes refuge aboard steamship Saratow. 16 May, The Estonian Army starts a major offensive against the Soviets in north Latvia,22 May, The Baltische Landeswehr captures Riga. 23 May, The Latvian Independent Brigade marches into Riga,3 June, The Baltische Landeswehr reaches Cēsis. 6 June, The Landeswehrs North Latvian campaign begins, commanded by Maj. Alfred Fletcher,23 June, The Estonian 3rd Division commanded by Gen. Ernst Põdder, including the 2nd Latvian Cēsis regiment of the North Latvian Brigade defeats the Landeswehr. 3 July, Estonia, Latvia and the pro-German Provisional Government of Latvia sign the Ceasefire of Strazdumuiža,6 July, The North Latvian Brigade enters Riga. 5 October, The German mission secretly leaves Riga for Jelgava,8 October, The West Russian Volunteer Army attacks Riga, taking the Pārdaugava district. 3 November, The Latvian Army, supported by Estonian armored trains,11 November, The Latvian Army, supported by Estonian armored trains and the Royal Navy, defeats the West Russian Volunteer Army in RigaLatvian War of Independence
17. Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 – In July 1989 the country stepped on the road of the restoration of its independence, and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Latvias sovereignty was fully restored in 1991. On August 22,1996, the Latvian parliament adopted a declaration which stated that the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 was a military occupation, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Latvia declared its independence on November 18,1918. After a prolonged War of Independence, Latvia and Soviet Russia signed a treaty on August 11,1920. The independence of Latvia was diplomatically recognised by the Allied Supreme Council on January 26,1921, on September 22,1921 Latvia was admitted to membership in the League of Nations and remained a member until the formal dissolution of the League in 1946. On June 7,1939 German–Latvian Non-Aggression Pact was signed, on September 1,1939, the day World War II began, Latvia declared its neutrality. Article II defines forms of aggression, fourth — a naval blockade of coasts or ports of another State. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, signed August 23,1939 contained secret protocols to split up territories between Germany and the Soviet Union. According to these protocols, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia were within the Soviet sphere of interest, Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. France and Britain, which were obligated by treaty to protect Poland, following French-British indecision, Britain acted alone moving forward with a two-hour ultimatum at 9, 00am on September 3, which France was then forced to follow, issuing its own ultimatum. France subsequently requested Britain not bomb Germany, fearing retaliation against the French populace. It was determined to do nothing, so as to not provoke a transfer of German forces to the western front, chamberlain declared on September 12 There is no hurry as time is on our side. The abandonment of Poland was complete, Stalin then suggested a trade to Hitler to solve the Baltic problem. The Soviet Union now occupied just over half of all Polish territory, There were no impediments remaining to Stalin, in concert with Hitler, achieving his aims in the Baltics. On September 24,1939, warships of the Red Navy appeared off Latvias northern neighbour, Estonian ports, Soviet bombers began a patrol over Tallinn. USSR then violated the air space of all three Baltic states, flying massive intelligence gathering operations on September 25, Moscow demanded that Baltic countries allow the USSR to establish military bases and station troops on their soil for the duration of the European war. During talks in Moscow, on October 2,1939, Stalin told Vilhelms Munters, the Latvian foreign minister, I tell you frankly, as far as Germany is concerned we could occupy you. The Baltics took this threat seriously, the government of Estonia accepted the ultimatum signing the corresponding agreement on September 28. 1939, Latvia following on October 5,1939, and Lithuania shortly thereafter, at face value, this pact did not impinge upon Latvian sovereigntySoviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 – Red Army tank and truck in Riga (1940)
18. Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany – The occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany was completed on July 10,1941 by Germanys armed forces. Latvia became a part of Nazi Germanys Reichskommissariat Ostland — the Province General of Latvia, the killings were committed by the Einsatzgruppe A, and the Wehrmacht. Latvian collaborators, including the 500–1,500 members of the Arājs Commando,30,000 Jews were shot in the autumn of 1941 with most of the remaining Jewish people being rounded up and put into ghettos. Germany, Austria and the present-day Czech Republic Jews, now located in the Riga ghetto were put to work, the Kaiserwald concentration camp was built in 1943 at Mežaparks on the edge of Riga which took most of the inmates from the ghetto. In the camp the inmates were put to work by large German companies, before the Soviet forces returned, all Jews under 18 or over 30 were shot, with the remainder moved to Stutthof concentration camp. During the years of Nazi occupation, special campaigns killed 90,000 people in Latvia and those who were not Jews or Gypsies were mostly civilians whose political opinions and activity were unacceptable to the German occupiers. Jewish and Gypsy civilians were eliminated as a result of the Nazi theory of races as set out in the Nazi Generalplan Ost plan. And lastly there were people who felt persecuted, mainly the Jews, many resistance people ended up joining either the German and some, the Soviet armies, as a means of fighting. Very few were able to live as independent bands in the forests, when the Germans first arrived in Latvia they found anti Soviet guerrilla bands operating in may areas, of varying quality, some swollen by deserters from Soviet units. The largest and most effective was led by Kārlis Aperāts who moved on to become a Standartenführer, some Latvians resisted the German occupation undertaking solo acts of bravery, like Žanis Lipke who risked his life to save more than 50 Jews. The Latvian resistance movement was divided between the units under the Latvian Central Council and the pro-Soviet forces under the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement in Moscow. Their Latvian commander was Arturs Sproģis, the Latvian Central Council published the outlawed publication Brīvā Latvija. The periodical promoted the idea of renewing democracy in Latvia after the war, public displays of resistance such as the 15 May 1942 in Riga resulted in the young nationalists being arrested, others were prevented when their plans were discovered. However much partisan activity was centred of forcing civilians to provide food and these reports were used as propaganda by the Soviets. Resistance continued at a level after the return of the Red army in July 1944, with perhaps 40,000 Latvians involved. Many Latvian soldiers deserted when Germany attacked Latvia, a few, especially Jews, continued to serve happily with the Soviet forces. 130th Latvian Rifle Corps of the Order of Suvorov and this Red Army national formation was formed, for the third time, on June 5,1944, shortly before the Red Army attacked Latvia. Their strength was about 15,000 men, which consisted three divisions – 43rd Guards, 308th Latvian Rifle Division and a Soviet division, the Corps units fought against Latvian Legion 19th Division unitsOccupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany – German soldiers enter Riga July 1941
19. Soviet re-occupation of Latvia in 1944 – The Soviet re-occupation of Latvia in 1944 refers to the re-occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1991. During World War II Latvia was first occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940, Army Group Centre was in tatters, and the northern edge of the Soviet assault threatened to trap Army Group North in a pocket in the Courland region. Strachwitz had been needed elsewhere, and was back to acting as the Army Groups fire brigade. Strachwitzs Panzerverband was broken up in late July, by early August, the Soviets were again ready to attempt to cut off Army Group North from Army Group Centre. A massive Soviet assault sliced through the German lines and Army Group North was completely isolated from its neighbour. Inside the trapped pocket, the panzers and StuG IIIs of the Hermann von Salza. On 19 August 1944, the assault, which had been dubbed Unternehmen Doppelkopf got underway and it was preceded by a bombardment by the cruiser Prinz Eugens 203mm guns, which destroyed forty-eight T-34s assembling in the square at Tukums. Strachwitz and the Nordland remnants meet on the 21st, and contact was restored between the army groups, the 101. Panzerbrigade was now assigned to the army detachment Narwa active at the Emajõgi River Front, bolstering the defenders armour strength. Disaster had been averted, but the warning was clear, Army Group North was extremely vulnerable to being cut off. In 1944, the Red Army lifted the siege of Leningrad and re-conquered the Baltic area along with much of Ukraine, however, some 200,000 German troops held out in Courland along with Latvian forces resisting Soviet reoccupation. They were besieged with their backs to the Baltic Sea, the Red Army mounted numerous offensives at massive losses but failed to take the Courland Pocket. He believed them necessary to protect German submarine bases along the Baltic coast, on January 15,1945, Army Group Courland was formed under Colonel-General Dr. Lothar Rendulic. Until the end of the war, Army Group Courland successfully defended the Latvian peninsula and it held out until May 8,1945, when it surrendered under Colonel-General Carl Hilpert, the army groups last commander. He surrendered to Marshal Leonid Govorov, the commander of opposing Soviet forces on the Courland perimeter, at this time the group still consisted of some 31 divisions of varying strength. After May 9,1945 approximately 203,000 troops of Army Group Courland began moving to Soviet prison camps in the East, more than 200,000 people are estimated to have been deported from the Baltic in 1940–1953. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to Gulag,10 percent of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps. Many soldiers evaded capture and joined the Latvian national partisans resistance that waged unsuccessful guerilla warfare for several years, the precedent under international law established by the earlier-adopted Stimson Doctrine, as applied to the Baltics in U. S. Under Secretary of State Sumner Welless declaration of July 23,1940, despite Welless statement, the Baltics soon reprised their centuries-long role as pawns in the conflicts of larger powersSoviet re-occupation of Latvia in 1944 – Soviet operations 19 August 1944 to 31 December 1944.
20. The Holocaust in Latvia – The Holocaust in Latvia refers to the war crimes of Nazis and Nazi collaborators victimizing Jews during the occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany. The German army crossed the Soviet frontier early in the morning on Sunday,22 June 1941, the German army advanced quickly through Lithuania towards Daugavpils and other strategic points in Latvia. In advance of the invasion, the SD had organised four Special Assignment Units, the name of these units was a euphemism, as their real purpose was to kill large numbers of people whom the Nazis regarded as undesirable. These included Communists, Gypsies, the ill, and especially. The SD in Latvia can be distinguished in photographs and descriptions by their uniforms, the full black of the Nazi SS was seldom worn, instead the usual attire was the grey Wehrmacht uniform with black accents. They wore the SD patch on the sleeve, a yellowish shirt. The SD ranks were identical to the SS, the SD did not wear the SS lightning rune symbol on their right collar tabs, but replaced it with either the Totenkopf or the letters SD. The SD first established its power in Latvia through Einsatzgruppe A, the KdS took orders both from RSHA in Berlin and from another official called the Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, or BdS. Both the KdS and the BdS were subordinate to another official called the Ranking SS and Police Commander, the lines of authority were overlapping and ambiguous. The eastern part of Latvia, including Daugavpils and the Latgale region, was assigned to Einsatzkommandos 1b and 3, EK 1b had about 50 to 60 men and was commanded by Erich Ehrlinger. In Latvia, the Holocaust started on the night of 23 to 24 June 1941, on the following days 35 Jews were exterminated in Durbe, Priekule and Asīte. On June 29 the Nazi invaders started forming the first Latvian SD auxiliary unit in Jelgava, mārtiņš Vagulāns, member of the Pērkonkrusts organisation, was chosen to head it. In the summer of 1941,300 men in the unit took part in the extermination of about 2000 Jews in Jelgava, the killing was supervised by the officers of the German SD Rudolf Batz and Alfred Becu, who involved the SS people of the Einsatzgruppe in the action. The main Jelgava Synagogue was burnt down through their joint effort, after the invasion of Riga, Walter Stahlecker, assisted by the members of Pērkonkrusts and other local collaborationists, organised the pogrom of Jews in the capital of Latvia. Viktors Arājs, aged 31 at the time, possible former member of Pērkonkrusts and he was an idle eternal student who was supported by his wife, a rich shop owner, who was ten years older than he was. Arājs had worked in the Latvian Police for a period of time. He stood out with his power-hungry and extreme thinking, the man was well fed, well dressed, and with his students hat proudly cocked on one ear. On 2 July Viktors Arājs started to form his unit of men who were responding to the appeal of Pērkonkrusts to take arms and to clear Latvia of JewsThe Holocaust in Latvia – Exhibit presented at the Wannsee (Holocaust planning) Conference on January 20, 1942, showing only 3,500 Jews left alive in Latvia of about 60,000 in the country at the time of the Nazi takeover.
21. Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic – The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, also known as Soviet Latvia or Latvia, was a republic of the Soviet Union. Its territory was conquered by Nazi Germany in June–July 1941. Soviet rule came to the end during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and restoring its former state symbols - flag and anthem. The full independence of the Republic of Latvia was restored on 21 August 1991, during the 1991 Soviet coup détat attempt, on September 24,1939, the USSR entered the airspace of Estonia, flying numerous intelligence gathering operations. On September 25, Moscow demanded that Estonia sign a Soviet–Estonian Mutual Assistance Treaty that would allow the USSR to establish military bases, Latvia was next in line, as the USSR demanded the signing of a similar treaty. The authoritarian government of Kārlis Ulmanis accepted the ultimatum, signing the Soviet–Latvian Mutual Assistance Treaty on October 5,1939. On June 16,1940, after the USSR had already invaded Lithuania, hundreds of thousands Soviet troops entered Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. These additional Soviet military forces far outnumbered the armies of each country, the Latvian army did not fire a shot and was quickly decimated by purges and included in the Red Army. Ulmanis government resigned and was replaced by a government created under instructions from the USSR embassy. Up until the elections of the Peoples Parliament on July 14–15,1940 there were no public statements about governmental plans to introduce a Soviet political order or to join the Soviet Union. Soon after the occupation, the Communist Party of Latvia was legalized as the legal party. It was the only permitted participant in the election, after an attempt by other politicians to include the Democratic Bloc on the ballot was prevented by the government and its office was closed, election leaflets confiscated and its leaders arrested. The election results themselves were fabricated, the Soviet press service released them so early that they appeared in a London newspaper a full 24 hours before the polls had closed, all Soviet army personnel present in the country were allowed to vote. The newly elected Peoples Parliament convened on 21 July to declare the creation of the Latvian SSR, on August 5, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union completed the process of annexation by accepting the Latvian petition, and formally incorporated Latvia into the Soviet Union. Some of the Latvian diplomats stayed in the West and the Latvian Diplomatic Service continued to advocate the cause of Latvias freedom for the next 50 years. Therefore, the history of Soviet Latvia can broadly be divided in the periods of rule by the First Secretaries, Jānis Kalnbērziņš, Arvīds Pelše, Augusts Voss, in the following months of 1940 the Soviet Constitution and criminal code were introduced. The sham elections of July 1940 were followed by elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in January 1941, the remaining Baltic Germans and anyone who could claim to be one emigrated to the German Reich. On August 7,1940 all print media and printing houses were nationalized, most of the existing magazines and newspapers were discontinued or appeared under new, Soviet namesLatvian Soviet Socialist Republic – 1940 Soviet map of the Latvian SSR.
22. Flag of Latvia – The national flag of Latvia was used by independent Latvia from 1918 until the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its use was suppressed during Soviet rule, shortly before regaining its independence, Latvia re-adopted on 27 February 1990 the same red-white-red flag. Though officially adopted in 1923, the Latvian flag was in use as early as the 13th century, the red colour is sometimes described as symbolizing the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty. An alternative interpretation, according to one legend, is that a Latvian leader was wounded in battle, the white stripe may stand for the sheet that wrapped him. This story is similar to the legend of the origins of the flag of Austria, the red-white-red Latvian flag was first mentioned in the chapters of the Rhymed Chronicle of Livonia. This historical evidence places the Latvian flag among the oldest flags in the world. The chronicle tells about a battle took place around 1279, in which ancient Latvian tribes from Cēsis. A legend refers to a mortally wounded chief of a Latvian tribe who was wrapped in a white sheet, the part of the sheet on which he was lying remained white, but the two edges were stained in his blood. During the next battle the bloodstained sheet was used as a flag, according to the legend this time the Latvian warriors were successful and drove the enemy away. Ever since then Latvian tribes have used these colours, based on the aforementioned historical record, the present day flag design was adapted by artist Ansis Cīrulis in May 1917. The Latvian national flag, together with the coat of arms was affirmed in this format by a special parliamentary decree of the Republic of Latvia passed on 15 June 1921. During the period of occupation by the Soviet Union, the red-white-red Latvian flag was rendered useless from 1940-1941, any production and public display of the nationalist Latvian flag was considered anti-state crime and punishable by law. The first flag was a red flag with the hammer and sickle in the top-left corner. Starting in 1953, the version of the flag was adopted. It depicts the Soviet flag with six 1/3 blue wavy bands representing the sea on the bottom, under the influence of Mikhail Gorbachevs glasnost and perestroika initiatives, the flag of the nationalist Latvia was restored on 27 February 1990 just a year before its restoration of independence. Per Latvian law The Latvian national flag is red with white horizontal stripe. The colour on the flag is referred to as Latvian red. The red colour of the Latvian flag is a dark shadeFlag of Latvia – Flagpole
23. Geography of Latvia – Geographic coordinates, 57°00′N 25°00′E Latvia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea on the level northwestern part of the rising East European platform, between Estonia and Lithuania. About 98% of the country lies under 200 m elevation, with the exception of the coastal plains, the ice age divided Latvia into three main regions, the morainic Western and Eastern uplands and the Middle lowlands. Latvia holds over 12,000 rivers, only 17 of which are longer than 100 km, the major rivers include the Daugava, the Lielupe, the Gauja, the Venta and the Salaca. Woodlands cover around 52% of the country, other than peat, dolomite, and limestone, natural resources are scarce. Latvia has 531 km of coastline, and the ports of Liepāja. Area of Latvia is larger than the area of many European countries and its strategic location has instigated many wars between rival powers on its territory. As recently as 1944, the USSR granted Russia the Abrene region, Latvia encompasses 64,589 square kilometers and is an extension of the East European Plain. Its flat terrain differs little from that of its surrounding neighbors, Latvias only distinct border is the Baltic Sea coast, which extends for 531 kilometers. Its neighbors include Lithuania on the south, Estonia on the north, Russia on the east, prior to World War II, Latvia bordered eastern Poland, but as a result of boundary changes by the Soviet Union, this territory was attached to Belarus. Undulating plains cover 75% of Latvias territory and provide the areas for farming. About 27% of the territory is cultivable, with the central Zemgale Plain south of Riga being the most fertile and profitable. The three main areas, in the provinces of Kurzeme, Vidzeme, and Latgale, provide a picturesque pattern of fields interspersed with forests and numerous lakes. In this area, the glacial moraines, eskers, and drumlins have limited the profitability of agriculture by fragmenting fields. About 10% of Latvian territory consists of bogs, swamps. Forests are the feature of Latvia, claiming 52% of the territory. Over the past 100 years the amount of forest territories in Latvia has doubled, forest territories are expanding naturally, as well as due to intentional afforestation of barren land and land that cannot be used for agricultural purposes. More than half of the forests consist of Scots pine or Norway spruce, Latvias legislation on forestry is among the strictest in Europe firmly regulating wood harvesting. Each year the forests produce 25 million cubic meters of timber, while only about 12 -13 million cubic meters are felled, therefore the amount of mature and old forests continue to increaseGeography of Latvia – Detailed map of Latvia
24. Cultural regions of Latvia – Cultural regions of Latvia are several areas within Latvia formally recognised as distinct from the rest of the country. The Constitution of Latvia recognises four distinct regions, Kurzeme, Zemgale, Latgale, Semigallia is the central part of Latvia. Zemgale is bounded by Kurzeme in the west, the Gulf of Riga, the Daugava river and Vidzeme in the north, Selonia in the east and the Lithuanian border in the south. It consists of the city of Jelgava and the municipalities of Auce, Baldone, Bauska, Dobele, Engure, Iecava, Jaunpils, Jelgava, Ozolnieki, Rundāle, Tērvete, Tukums, traditional Semigallia also includes the northern part of Šiauliai County in Lithuania. Selonia is often considered a part of Semigallia, Selonia comprises the eastern part of the 1939 province of Semigallia, roughly corresponding to parts of the former Aizkraukle, Daugavpils and Jēkabpils districts south of Daugava river. Traditional Selonia also includes a portion of north east Lithuania, Vidzeme, meaning Middle land, is also known as Livland, though it comprises only a small part of traditional Livland. Present Vidzeme is the Latvian part of Swedish Livonia and City of Riga and it roughly corresponds to the former Alūksne, Cēsis, Gulbene, Limbaži, Madona, Valka, Valmiera districts and parts of Aizkraukle, Ogre and Riga districts north of Daugava river. Latgallia, the part of Livonia still in hands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after the Treaty of Altmark in 1629 and it roughly corresponds to Balvi, Krāslava, Ludza, Preiļi, Rēzekne districts and parts of Daugavpils and Jēkabpils districts north of Daugava river. In some cases, Kurzeme and Zemgale are combined into one region, from this perspective, there are three regions, Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale. Administrative divisions of Latvia Planning regions of Latvia Statistical regions of LatviaCultural regions of Latvia – Cultural regions of Latvia with cities and towns.
25. Politics of Latvia – The politics of Latvia takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The President holds a ceremonial role as Head of State. Executive power is exercised by the government, legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament, the Saeima. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, the law also prohibits any activity directed toward nationality discrimination or the promotion of national superiority or hatred. In autumn 1992 Latvia reimplemented significant portions of its 1922 constitution, after almost three years of deliberations, Latvia finalized a citizenship and naturalization law in summer 1994. In the 5–6 June 1993 elections, with a turnout of over 90%, the Popular Front, which spearheaded the drive for independence two years previously with a 75% majority in the last parliamentary elections in 1990, did not qualify for representation. The centrist Latvian Way party received a 33% plurality of votes, led by the opposition National Conservative Party, right-wing nationalists won a majority of the seats nationwide and also captured the Riga mayoralty in the 29 May 1994 municipal elections. OSCE and COE observers pronounced the elections free and fair, in February 1995, the Council of Europe granted Latvia membership. With President Bill Clintons assistance, on 30 April 1994 Latvia and Russia signed a troop withdrawal agreement, Russia withdrew its troops by 31 August 1994, but maintained several hundred technical specialists to staff an OSCE-monitored phased-array ABM radar station at Skrunda until 31 August 1998. The also-popular president, Guntis Ulmanis, had limited constitutional powers, in June 1996, the Saeima re-elected Ulmanis to another 3-year term. Under pressure from Šķēle, several ministers resigned or were fired. However, after months of increasing hostility between Šķēle and leading politicians, the coalition parties demanded and received the prime ministers resignation on 28 July. The new government was formed by the recent Minister of Economy Guntars Krasts and it included the same parties and mostly the same ministers as Šķēles government. It pursued the course of reform, albeit not as vigorously. In the 1998 elections, the Latvian party structure began to consolidate with only six parties winning seats in the Saeima, Andris Šķēles newly formed Peoples Party garnered a plurality with 24 seats. Two shaky governments under Vilis Krištopans and Andris Šķēle quickly collapsed in less than a year, in May 2000, a compromise candidate was found in the form of Andris Bērziņš, the Latvian Way mayor of Rīga. His four-party coalition government lasted till the elections in 2002. In 1999, the Saeima elected Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, a candidate with no party affiliationPolitics of Latvia – Latvia
26. Constitution of Latvia – The Constitution of Latvia is the fundamental law of the Republic of Latvia. Satversme is the oldest Eastern or Central European constitution still in force and it was adopted, as it states itself in the text, by the people of Latvia, in their freely elected Constitutional Assembly of Latvia on 15 February 1922 and came into force on 7 November 1922. It was heavily influenced by Germanys Weimar Constitution and the Swiss Federal Constitution, the constitution establishes the main bodies of government, it consists of 115 articles arranged in eight chapters. After the 1934 Latvian coup détat by Prime Minister of Latvia Kārlis Ulmanis, Satversme was suspended and this situation continued until June 17,1940, when Soviet Union occupied Latvia destroyed the existing regime and incorporated the Latvian SSR into the USSR on August 5. A new, Soviet-style constitution was then introduced, only articles 1,2,3 and 6 of Satversme were reintroduced at that time by the declaration and the constitution was fully reintroduced only by the first assembly of the 5th Saeima in 1993. In Latvian, satversme is officially used instead of constitution, while in everyday conversations konstitūcija is often used, the word was created by Atis Kronvalds, one of the leaders of the First Latvian National Awakening in the 19th century. The movement was trying to promote Latvian culture after centuries of Baltic German influence, Kronvalds and like-minded individuals created and introduced many new words and terms intended to be used over Germanic loanwords to modernize Latvian. The Constitution was drafted by the Constitutional Assembly of Latvia, which consisted of 150 members elected in April 1920 in general elections, the initial text was elaborated by a Constitutional committee and consisted of two parts. It was influenced by ideas of the Weimar Constitution and the Swiss Federal Constitution, the first regulated the states institutions, the second, citizens rights and obligations. The committee presented its work on 20 September 1921, on 20 June 1922 a law was passed that set the new constitution to come into force at 12 a. m. on 7 November 1922. In 1940 Latvian SSR was established by occupying Soviet Union forces, the legality of this parliament and its decisions is questioned–Soviets considered that the constitution was nullified by Ulmanis coup détat, so the Peoples Saeima never formally annulled it. After declaring accession to the USSR, the Peoples Saeima drafted a Constitution of LSSR on the basis of the 1936 Soviet Constitution and it was adopted a month after, on 25 August 1940. On 18 April 1978 the government of the LSSR adopted a new constitution modeled on the 1977 Soviet Constitution, on 4 May 1990 the Supreme Soviet of LSSR declared restoration of Latvias independence and adopted articles 1,2,3 and 6 of the constitution of 1922. Articles 1,2,3 and 6, which establish the basis of the states political system, were the first to be adopted after the restoration of independence. It is elected in general, equal and direct elections for a term of four years, the Constitution describes in general how the Saeima should work, noting that the Saeima should also establish rules of order to regulate its internal operations and order. Executive power is vested in the President and the Cabinet of ministers, there are two exceptions to this rule - the President can single-handedly decide to dissolve the Saeima and when a new government is formed it is up to him to choose a new Prime Minister. The cabinet is formed by the Prime Minister, under the constitution, the right to legislate has been granted to the Saeima. Laws are to be adopted by the Saeima and proclaimed by the President, the State Audit Office controls how the state financial resources are usedConstitution of Latvia – Latvia
27. Elections in Latvia – Elections in Latvia gives information on election and election results in Latvia. Latvia elects on national level a legislature, the Saeima has 100 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation with a 5% threshold. An unmodified Sainte-Laguë method is used to allocate seats, the parliamentary elections are held on the first Saturday of October. Locally, Latvia elects municipal councils, consisting of 7 to 60 members, depending on the size of the municipality, also by proportional representation for a four-year term. Latvia has a multi-party system, with parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone. A parliamentary election was held on 4 October 2014, voter turnout needed is two thirds of the number of the voters who participated in the last elections for the Parliament. The Constitution imposes several restrictions on when the referendum can be held. It cannot be held, one year after the elections one year before the parliamentary elections six months before the presidential elections six months after the last recall referendum. There was one such referendum - parliamentary dissolution referendum of 2011, in certain cases the President or one third of members of the Parliament have the right to suspend the proclamation of a law for a period of two months. Voter turnout needed is 50% of the number of the voters who participated in the last elections for the Parliament, if no referendum is requested in the two-month period, then the law is put into effect. Such a referendum was held on three occasions, in 1998,1999 and 2007 The constitution limits issues which can be submitted to a referendum and it forbids issues like budget, taxes, military conscription, declaration of war, peace treaties, agreements with other nations, etc. One tenth of the electorate can request amendment of the Constitution adoption of a law, if the Parliament does not accept the amendment or the draft law, then it will be submitted to a referendum. Certain parts of the Constitution can be amended only by a referendum, absolute majority is required for an amendment or a draft law to pass on such a referendum. Constitution amendments were on referendum in 2 cases, in 2008 and 2012, draft law was on a referendum in 2008, there were 13 referendums in Latvias history, of that 4 in 1923 -1934 period and 9 since 1991Elections in Latvia – Latvia
28. Foreign relations of Latvia – Todays Republic of Latvia regards itself as a continuation of the 1918–1940 republic. It also is a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, on 20 September 2003, in a nationwide referendum, the Latvians voted to join the European Union and Latvias EU membership took effect on 1 May 2004. Latvia became a state of NATO on March 29,2004. Latvia welcomes further cooperation and integration with NATO, European Union and it also seeks more active participation in UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide. Russia expresses concern for how Latvias language and naturalization laws effect Latvias Russian-speaking population, russians comprised 27. 6% of the population in 2010. In turn, Latvia is interested in the welfare of ethnic Latvians still residing in Russia. The latest Russian census shows about 40,000 still living in Russia, ministry of Foreign Affairs List of diplomatic missions in Latvia List of diplomatic missions of LatviaForeign relations of Latvia – Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga
29. Government of Latvia – The Government of Latvia is the central government of the Republic of Latvia. Since the early 2000s cabinet meetings in Latvia have been open to the public, in June 2013, the Latvian government became one of the first in Europe to offer live internet broadcasts of cabinet meetings. The incumbent cabinet is the Kučinskis cabinet since 11 February 2016, on 7 December 2015 Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma resigned, which forced negotiations for a new government. The Second Straujuma cabinet served as a government until the new cabinet was sworn in. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia websiteGovernment of Latvia – Cabinet of Ministers building
30. Human rights in Latvia – Human rights in Latvia are generally respected by the government, according to the US Department of State and Freedom House. Latvia is ranked above-average among the sovereign states in democracy, press freedom, privacy. The country has a large ethnic Russian community, which has basic rights guaranteed under the constitution, however, human rights organisations have reported multiple problems. Especially non-citizens – including stateless persons – suffer from limited or no access to a range of rights. As of end-2014, European Court of Human Rights has delivered 100 judgments in cases against Latvia, in 83 cases, UN Human Rights Committee has adopted views in four cases involving Latvia, as at December,2014, in two cases finding violation of ICCPR. In 2001, Latvia has extended an invitation to Special Procedures of UN Human Rights Council. In 1990, Latvia has acceded to UDHR in an atypical move, the majority of them were born or lived almost their entire lives in Latvia. Non-citizens also have restrictions on property ownership, amnesty International reported racially motivated attacks against Romani people. Latvia lacks of comprehensive national legislation dealing with all forms of discrimination, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have faced discrimination by verbal abuse. There were reported allegations of deliberate physical ill-treatment of detainees by prison staff, Human Rights Watch reported in 2006 the attacks on peaceful lesbian and gay pride activists in Riga on July 22. Earlier, Riga City Council denied an application by lesbian, gay, bisexual, the banned march were targeted by crowds of anti-gay protesters. In 2009 the gay march was allowed by Administrative Court of Riga, according to Freedom House, Latvia has wide civil liberties. Also political rights are in a level, though the country suffered high-profile corruption scandals during 2007. The government generally respects freedom of speech, freedom of press, academic freedom is respected in law and in practice. Freedom of assembly and association are protected by law and in practice, the highly competitive Latvian mass media are proving to be reliable sources of information and watchdogs against governmental abuses of power. While the constitutional guarantee of independence is generally respected, corruption in the judicial. Pretrial detentions are long, police use force against detainees. Women enjoy the same rights as men, but they often face employment discriminationHuman rights in Latvia – Latvia
31. Language policy in Latvia – Latgalian and the Livonian language, in addition to latvian, are considered indigenous and all other languages foreign, including Russian. Other significant minority languages include Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Polish. The official language in Latvia is Latvian, this status has been defined since 1988. In 1992, amendments to the 1989 Law on Languages strengthened the position of Latvian, all other languages, except the extinct Livonian language, are defined as foreign languages in Section 5 of the State Language Law of 1999. In the Constitutions chapter on human rights, rights to get answers from authorities in Latvian are specified since 2002, the current State Language Law was not amended since its adoption in 1999. In 1995, Latvia signed, and in 2005 ratified the Council of Europes Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, when ratifying it, the Latvian Saeima made two declarations limiting the implementation of Articles 10 and 11. As at 2008, Latvia did not plan to sign the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, from 1992–2000, authorities had to accept documents in Russian, German and English, too, and were allowed to answer in the language of application. Before the losses of the Latvian government in the cases Podkolzina v. Latvia and Ignatāne v. Latvia, in practice, this had led to re-examinations of various candidates, at least sometimes unexpected, which prevented Ignatāne and Podkolzina from participation. As of 2011, candidates do not need to prove language proficiency, names and surnames in Latvian-issued documents are formed in Latvianized form, according to Section 19. These provisions were subject in ECHR cases Kuhareca v. Latvia and Mencena v. Latvia, an analogous application was submitted to UN HRC in 2007 and won by the applicant on grounds of privacy. Toponyms are formed in Latvian language only, according to Section 18 of the State Language Law, the Electronic Mass Media Law orders to use only Latvian language in the first channels of public radio and television, and basically Latvian language in their second channels. Unity block, comprising most of the coalition as of 2011. The idea of the state, where language = nation, is seen as the core. Critics draw parallels between measures of the Latvian government and the assimilation of minorities in various countries. Nataliya Pulina in Moskovskiye Novosti asserts that Latvias Russophones are by percentage actually the largest linguistic minority in the EU whose language has no official status. In a draft of its programme, HC offers to grant co-official status to Latgalian and Russian in printed media, public sphere and education. Both these parties are in permanent opposition on the state level, on the other hand, TB/LNNK, a member of governing coalition between 2006 and 2010, is demanding that Latvian be made the sole language of instruction, even in minority schools. The same concerns cinemas, according to Section 17 of State Language Law, until a judgement of the Constitutional Court upon request of 24 ForHRUL MPs, broadcasting in minority languages was limited for private TV and radioLanguage policy in Latvia – In total numbers, both Latvian and Russian decreased while the number of students enrolled in classes with another language of instruction remained minimal.
32. Military of Latvia – The Latvian National Armed Forces are the armed forces of the Republic of Latvia. The National Armed Forces consists of Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force, National Guard, Latvia has switched to a professional army, the last draft was in 2005. From January 1,2007, the Latvian army is fully contract-based, the mission of the National Armed Forces is to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation and to defend its population against foreign or domestic armed aggression. Ensure modernization and enhancement of professional training, The Latvian armed forces were first formed after the new state was created after World War I. At the end of the Latvian War of Independence, the Latvian Army consisted of 69,232 men, after the Soviet occupation of Latvia in June 1940 the annihilation of the Latvian army began. The army was renamed the People’s Army and in September–November 1940- the Red Army’s 24th Territorial Rifle Corps, the corps comprised the 181st and 183rd Rifle Divisions. In September the corps contained 24,416 men but in more than 800 officers. The arrests of soldiers continued in the following months, in June 1940, the entire Territorial Corps was sent to Litene camp. Before leaving the camp, Latvians drafted in 1939 were demobilised, on June 10, the corps senior officers were sent to Russia where they were arrested and most of them shot. On June 14 at least 430 officers were arrested and sent to Gulag camps, simultaneously, many soldiers and officers deserted and when the corps crossed the Latvian border only about 3,000 Latvian soldiers remained. There are 4,763 active duty personnel in the NAF, there are 971 soldiers in the Latvian Land Forces,552 in the Latvian Naval Forces,251 in the Latvian Air Force with the balance in the other commands. There are 10,642 voluntary national guardsmen with 1,284 officers and 1,945 non-commissioned officers in the Latvian National Guard, there are 1,288 civil employees serving in the NAF. Along with providing for defence, the NAF will also react immediately to threats to other allies. Latvia cooperates with Estonia and Lithuania in the joint infantry battalion BALTBAT, currently, NATO is involved in the patrolling and protection of the Latvian air space as the Latvian military does not have the means to do so. For this goal a rotating force of four NATO fighters, which comes from different nations, after joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Latvia has undertaken obligations to strengthen common defence within the scope of its capabilities. For this purpose, every NATO member state delegates its military formations — fast response, after joining NATO, the foundation of the Latvian defence system has shifted from total territorial defence to collective defence. Latvia has acquired small but highly professional troop units that have fully integrated into NATO structures. NAF soldiers have participated in operations since 1996Military of Latvia – A Latvian soldier during a training exercise
33. President of Latvia – The President of Latvia, is head of state and commander-in-chief of the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia. The term of office is four years, before 1997, it was three years. He or she may be elected any number of times, in the event of the vacancy in the office of the President, the Speaker of the Saeima assumes the duties of the President. For example, after the death of Jānis Čakste the Speaker of the Saeima, Pauls Kalniņš, was acting president briefly in 1927, unlike his Estonian counterpart, the Latvian presidents role is not entirely ceremonial. However, he is not as powerful as the President of Lithuania, the official Latvian term Valsts prezidents literally means State PresidentPresident of Latvia – Incumbent Raimonds Vējonis since 8 July 2015
34. Prime Minister of Latvia – The Prime Minister of Latvia is the most powerful member of the Government of Latvia, and presides over the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers. The Prime Minister is nominated by the President of Latvia, the tables below display all Latvian Prime Ministers from both the first period of Latvian independence and since the country regained its independence. From 1990 to 6 July 1993, the office was known as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, a direct translation of the official Latvian term is Minister-President. Although the equivalent is used in some European languages, it is not used conventionally in English, some sources may list Stučka and Niedra as prime ministers for periods when their governments controlled most of Latvia. 2 On 15 May 1934, prime minister Ulmanis dissolved parliament and banned all political parties,3 Puppet leader appointed by Soviet authorities. Not recognized as such by the Latvian government, from 4 May 1990 after adopting the Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Republic. Political Party, LTF LC Independent TB/LNNK TP JL LZP LPP/LC V Lists of office-holders Official list from the Latvian Cabinet of MinistersPrime Minister of Latvia – Incumbent Laimdota Straujuma since 22 January 2014
35. Saeima – The Saeima is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation. Elections are scheduled to be held every four years, normally on the first Saturday of October. The most recent elections were held in October 2014, the President of Latvia can dismiss the Saeima and request early elections. The procedure for dismissing it involves substantial political risk to the president, on May 28,2011, president Valdis Zatlers decided to initiate the dissolution of the Saeima, which was approved in a referendum, and the Saeima was dissolved on 23 July 2011. The current Speaker of the Saeima is Ināra Mūrniece, deputies are elected to represent one of five constituencies, Kurzeme, Latgale, Riga, Vidzeme, and Zemgale. The word Saeima, meaning a gathering, a meeting, a council, was constructed by the Young Latvian Juris Alunāns and it stems from the archaic Latvian word eima meaning to go. Summary of the 4 October 2014 Latvian Saeima election results In the pre-war Latvia, 1st Saeima met from November 7,1922 until November 2,1925. 2nd Saeima from November 3,1925 until November 5,1928, 3rd Saeima from November 6,1928 until November 2,1931. 4th Saeima met from November 3,1931 until the May 15,1934 Latvian coup détat, deputies of the Saeima Latvijas Republikas Saeima Central Election Commission of LatviaSaeima
36. Economy of Latvia – The economy of Latvia is an open economy in Northern Europe and is part of the European Unions single market. Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization since 1999, a member of the European Union since 2004, a member of the Eurozone since 2014 and a member of the OECD since 2016. Due to its location, transit services are highly developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products. In 2011 Latvia achieved GDP growth by 5. 5% and thus Latvia again was among the fastest growing economies in the European Union, the IMF/EU program successfully concluded in December 2011. Privatization is mostly complete, except for some of the large state-owned utilities, export growth contributed to the economic recovery, however the bulk of the countrys economic activity is in the services sector. For centuries under Hanseatic and German influence and then during its independence, Latvia used its geographic location as an important East-West commercial. Industry served local markets, while timber, paper and agricultural products were Latvias main exports, conversely, years in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union tended to integrate Latvias economy with their markets and also serve those countries large internal industrial needs. After reestablishing its independence, Latvia proceeded with market-oriented reforms, albeit at a measured pace and its freely traded currency, the lat, was introduced in 1993 and held steady, or appreciated, against major world currencies. Inflation was reduced from 958. 6% in 1992 to 25% by 1995 and 1. 4% by 2002, after contracting substantially between 1991–93, the economy steadied in late 1994, led by recovery in light industry and a boom in commerce and finance. After 2000, Latvian GDP grew by 6–8% a year for 4 consecutive years, Latvias state budget was balanced in 1997 but the 1998 Russian financial crisis resulted in large deficits, which were reduced from 4% of GDP in 1999 to 1. 8% in 2003. These deficits were smaller than in most of the countries joining the European Union in 2004. Until the middle of 2008, Latvia had the fastest developing economy in Europe, in 2003, GDP growth was 7. 5% and inflation was 2. 9%. The centrally planned system of the Soviet period was replaced with a based on free-market principles. In 2005, private sector share in GDP was 70%, recovery in light industry and Rigas emergence as a regional financial and commercial center offset shrinkage of the state-owned industrial sector and agriculture. The official unemployment figure was held steady in the 7%–10% range, the Financial Crisis of 2008 severely disrupted the Latvian economy, primarily as a result of the easy credit bubble that began building up during 2004. The bubble burst lead to a weakening economy, resulting in a budget, wage. Latvia had the worst economic performance in 2009, with growth rate averaging −18%. The Latvian economy entered a phase of contraction during the second half of 2008 after an extended period of credit-based speculationEconomy of Latvia – Riga
37. Agriculture in Latvia – In 1990, Latvia had 2,567,000 hectares of agricultural land—32 percent less than in 1935. More than 1 million hectares of land, much of it abandoned, were converted to forest under Soviet rule. The Soviet authorities socialized agriculture, permitting only small plots and animal holdings on the vast state. Private household plots, despite their size, played a significant role in the agricultural sector by supplementing the output of the notoriously inefficient state. In 1991, some 87 percent of all sheep and goats were held on private plots, as were approximately 33 percent of dairy cows, under Soviet rule, Latvia became a major supplier of meat and dairy products to the Soviet Union. From 1940 to 1990, livestock production nearly doubled, by contrast, crop cultivation increased by only 14 percent, despite investments in soil drainage. As the centralized Soviet system collapsed, however, a shortage of feed, from 1990 to 1991, the number of animals on state and collective farms in Latvia fell by up to 23 percent. Consequently, the output of meat, milk products, and eggs from these farms declined by 6 to 7 percent and this article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http, //lcweb2. loc. gov/frd/cs/Agriculture in Latvia
38. Bank of Latvia – The Bank of Latvia is the central bank of Latvia. It is one of the key public institutions and carries out economic functions as prescribed by law, the principal objective of the Bank of Latvia is to regulate currency in circulation by implementing monetary policy to maintain price stability in Latvia. Until 31 December 2013, the bank was responsible for issuing the former Latvian currency, the Bank of Latvia administration is located in Riga. The fiscal year for the bank begins on 1 January and ends on 31 December, artūrs Graudiņš Pēteris Sakss Einars Repše Ilmārs Rimšēvičs Economy of Latvia Latvian lats European Central Bank Latvia and the euro Official site of Latvijas Banka Official site of Latvijas BankaBank of Latvia – Bank of Latvia headquarters in Riga.
39. Latvian euro coins – The adoption process began 1 May 2004, when Latvia joined the European Union, entering the EUs Economic and Monetary Union. At the start of 2005, the lats was pegged to the euro at Ls 0.702804 = €1, Latvias Treaty of Accession to the European Union obliged it to eventually adopt the euro. Latvia had originally planned to adopt the euro on 1 January 2008 and its our goal and we are working hard to implement this process. In September 2012, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis reiterated that Latvia is on track for 2014, before Latvia could adopt the euro, it had to meet five convergence criteria set by the EU. An assessment by the European Central Bank in April 2012 found that Latvia met three of the five criteria, the ECB simultaneously published a report which noted that Latvia is within the reference values of the convergence criteria. He argued that, given the obligation, a referendum could only serve to delay or prevent euro adoption. On 31 January 2013, the Latvian parliament passed its euro adoption bill, shortly after this, on 9 February, the referendum proposal had only gathered the support of 4 out of the Saeimas 100 members. These MPs stated that they would turn to the last remaining option to force a referendum. Latvia officially requested an extraordinary convergence report to assess their readiness for euro adoption on 4 March 2013, Latvias Central Election Commission rejected the proposed referendum on 18 March, as the proposed bill was considered not to comply with the Latvian constitution or Latvias international obligations. A draft law outlining the euro switchover process was presented by the cabinet on 6 November 2012. It specified that, ATMs would stop distributing Lats from 1 January 2014, both Lats and Euros would be in circulation for two weeks. Post offices would offer free exchange for a month, all shops would be required to have dual price displays for three months before and until six months after the adoption. The law was passed on 31 January 2013, the Latvian Parliament adopted on 26 July 2005 Regulation Nr.564, outlining that the official Latvian name of the euro currency would be eiro. In December 2007 the regulation was amended, so that the name in all legal matters would be euro, Latvian euro coins feature three separate designs on the national side, which were publicised in July 2006 on the home page of the National Bank of Latvia. Latvia decided that a design of the monument would not be as recognisable and decided to use the Latvian maiden, used on the 1 euro coin. For the design of images on the side and a detailed description of the coins. A tender for minting the Latvian euro coins began on 20 September 2012, on 10 December 2012, it was announced that Latvia will utilise the Baden-Württemberg Mint. The coins were minted in Stuttgart except the 1 cent,10 cent and 1 euro coins, the production of Latvian euros began in July 2013Latvian euro coins – Advertising on a tram using the word 'eiro' for the euro.
40. Telecommunications in Latvia – Telecommunications in Latvia include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet. The state public television broadcaster is Latvijas Televīzija, calling code, +371 International call prefix,00 Main lines, ~501,000 lines in use, 97th in the world, ~644,000 lines in use. Mobile cellular, ~2.3 million lines, ~2.2 million lines, until 2003 Lattelecom had a monopoly in the fixed telecommunications market. This led to overwhelming use of phones for private customers. In Latvia exist more than 2 million mobile phones but only 644,000 fixed phone connections and these voice telephony providers provide services for cheaper foreign calls, as well as local calls. The telecom regulator SPRK tries to provide an environment so that new operators can compete with Lattelecom which owns most of the last-mile connections. Top-level domain. lv Internet users,1.5 million users, Internet hosts,359,604 hosts, 58th in the world. The Internet in Latvia began to significant growth in 1999. By 2000, there were 75,000 Internet users and about a dozen e-commerce shops in Latvia, the average salary for a web programmer was 500Ls/month. High-speed access costs remained prohibitive, for example, an ADSL service planned to be introduced in July 2000 and planned to charge a fee of 50. By 2003, however, still only 5, by 2008, access prices had fallen to 11, 90Ls per month for the Lattelecom ADSL line. There is no OpenNet Initiative country profile, but Latvia is shown as no evidence of Internet filtering in all areas for which ONI tests on the ONI global Internet filtering maps, the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and of the press. There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms, individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. The KNAB stated that the film might have constituted election advertising, reporters Without Borders charged that the prohibition constituted improper censorship, but noted it was ineffective because the film was widely available on the Internet. Latvian Internet Exchange Latvia This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https and this article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State. Public Utilities Commission Latvian State Department of Communications NIC. lv. lv domain registrar, CERT. lv, the Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of the Republic of Latvia. Telecommunications operators in Latvia AdForte Bite Latvia CSC Telecom Lattelecom Latvia Mobile Telephone Optron Tele2 TELEFANT Telepele, prefix code 1030 in Lattelecom networkTelecommunications in Latvia
41. Transport in Latvia – This article provides an overview of the transport infrastructure of Latvia. It is mandatory to keep headlights on while driving, even in daylight, Latvian Railways is the main state-owned railyway company in Latvia. There is also a gauge railway between Gulbene and Aluksne, operated by the Industrial Heritage Trust, using Russian and Polish built heritage rolling stock. Three narrow gauge trains a day operate on the 33 km route between the two towns. Total,2,347 kmRussian gauge,2,314 km 1,520 mm gauge narrow gauge,33 km 750 mm gauge Pasažieru Vilciens is a company of Latvian Railways. It is also the hub of airBaltic. In the recent years also operated from Liepāja International Airport as well as Ventspils International Airport. Currently there are plans for development in several regional airports, including Jūrmala Airport, Liepāja. As of 2003, there were a total of 51 airfields in Latvia, most transit traffic uses these and half the cargo is crude oil and oil productsTransport in Latvia – A10 near Rīga
42. 2008 Latvian financial crisis – The 2008 Latvian financial crisis, which stemmed from the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, was a major economic and political crisis in Latvia. The crisis was generated when an easy credit market burst, resulting in an unemployment crisis, since 2010, economic activity has recovered and Latvias economic growth rate was the fastest among the EU member states in the first three quarters of 2012. In 2008, after years of booming economic success, the Latvian economy took one of the sharpest downturns in the world, on concerns of bankruptcy, Standard & Poors subsequently downgraded Latvias credit rating to non-investment grade BB+, or junk, its worst ever rating. Its rating was put on negative outlook, which indicates a further cut. On February 20 the Latvian coalition government headed by Prime Minister of Latvia Ivars Godmanis collapsed, the Baltic States have been amongst the worst hit by the global financial crisis. In December 2008 the Latvian unemployment rate stood at 7%, by December 2009, the figure had risen to 22. 8%. The number of unemployed has more than tripled since the onset of the crisis, however, by 2010 commentators noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. Rating agency Standard & Poors raised its outlook on Latvias debt from negative to stable, Latvias current account, which had been in deficit by 27% in late 2006 was in surplus in February 2010. She concluded that by implementing its international program, Latvia has proven that it can be powerful. IMF-Bank of Latvias Conference on Lessons From the Recovery in the Baltics, european Commissions DG ECFINs country page on Latvia2008 Latvian financial crisis
43. Demographics of Latvia – Latvia was settled by the Baltic tribes some three millennia ago. The territories along the eastern Baltic first came under foreign domination at the beginning of the 13th century, through all this time, Latvia remained largely under Baltic German hegemony, with Baltic Germans comprising the largest land-owners, a situation which did not change until Latvias independence. Historically, Latvia has had significant German, Russian, Jewish and Polish minorities, the majority of Latvians, under Swedish influences, adopted Lutheranism, while the minority of Latvians under Poland-Lithuania, Latgale in particular, retained their Catholicism. Aglona, in Latgale, has been the site of annual Catholic pilgrimage for centuries, recently introduced immigration law in Latvia provides framework for immigration through investment in various financial areas or real estate. In 2012, solely 2,435 applications for residence permit by investment in real estate were received by Office of Citizenship, main immigrant countries are Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania. Moreover, Latvia receives residence permit applications from people of such as Afghans, Chinese, Libyans. Latvias indigenous population has been ravaged numerous times throughout history, the earliest such event occurred during the conquest of Latvia by Peter the Great in the Great Northern War with Sweden. The remainder were Lithuanians, Estonians, Gypsies, and various other nationalities, the demographics shifted greatly in the 20th century due to the world wars, the repatriation of the Baltic Germans, the Holocaust, and occupation by the Soviet Union. Today, only the Russian minority, which has tripled in numbers since 1935, the share of ethnic Latvians grew from 77% in 1935 to 80%, after human loss in World War II and human deportation and other repressive measures, fell strongly to 52% in 1989. In 2005, there were even fewer Latvians than in 1989, people who arrived in Latvia during the Soviet era, and their descendants born before 21 August 1991, have to pass a naturalisation process to receive Latvian citizenship. Their children born after the restoration of independence in 1991 are registered as citizens, ethnic Latvians have been one of the worlds slowest-growing ethnic groups for a century. The number of Latvians today is less than it was in the 1920s. Over 130,000 persons have been naturalized as Latvian citizens since 1995, large numbers of Russians, as well as some Ukrainians and Belarusians remained in Latvia after the fall of the Soviet Union. According to the results of the Population and Housing Census 2011. Since the previous census in 2000 the countrys population decreased by 309 thousand or 13%, the proportion of ethnic Latvians increased to 62. 1% of the population. Livonians are the indigenous ethnic group, with about 100 of them remaining. Latgalians are a subgroup of Latvians inhabiting or coming from Eastern Latvia. According to rankings provided by the United States Census Bureau—International Data Base —Country Rankings, illegal immigration in Latvia has traditionally been from neighboring countries such as Russia but now migrants also come from other areas such as Latin America, Southeast Asia and AfricaDemographics of Latvia – Smaller ethnic minorities
44. Education in Latvia – Education in Latvia is free and compulsory. Compulsory education includes two years of education and a further nine years of elementary education. In 1996, the gross enrolment rate was 95.8 percent. The number of children who do not attend primary school was increasing as of 2001, in rural areas, a number of schools have been closed. The place allocated to minority languages in education was an issue of wide protests in 2003-2004. According to 2010 data from UNESCO,4,720 students from Latvia were enrolled in education abroad,1,760 students from other countries were enrolled in tertiary education in LatviaEducation in Latvia
45. Latvian language – Latvian is the official state language of Latvia. It was previously known in English as Lettish which remains the standard today in various forms in most other Germanic languages, there are about 1.3 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100,000 abroad. Altogether,2 million, or 80% of the population of Latvia, of those,1.16 million or 56% use it as their primary language at home. The use of the Latvian language in areas of social life in Latvia is increasing. Latvian is a Baltic language and is most closely related to Lithuanian, in addition there is some disagreement whether Latgalian and New Curonian, which are mutually intelligible with Latvian, should be considered varieties or separate languages. Latvian first appeared in Western print in the century with the reproduction of the Lords Prayer in Latvian in Sebastian Münsters Cosmographia Universalis. Latvian belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family and it is one of two living Baltic languages with an official status. The Baltic languages are of particular interest to linguists because they retain many archaic features believed to have present in the early stages of the Proto-Indo-European language. There is some evidence to suggest the existence of a Balto-Slavic language group after the break-up of Proto-Indo-European, there exist a number of Baltic words that are similar to Sanskrit or Latin and which lack counterparts in Slavic languages. Latvian, Lithuanian, Armenian, Albanian, Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages are grouped as satem languages, while the possession of many archaic features is undeniable, the exact manner by which the Baltic languages have developed from the Proto-Indo-European language is not clear. According to some speculations, the Eastern Baltic languages split from Western Baltic between 400 and 600. The differentiation between Lithuanian and Latvian started after 800, with a period of being one language. At a minimum, transitional dialects existed until the 14th century or 15th century and this process of consolidation started in the 13th century after the Livonian Crusade and forced christianization. These tribes came under Livonian rule thus forming a political, economic. The oldest known examples of written Latvian are from a 1530 translation of a made by Nikolaus Ramm. Until the 19th century, the Latvian language was influenced by the German language. In the middle of the 19th century the First Latvian National Awakening was started, led by “Young Latvians” who popularized the use of Latvian language, participants to this movement laid the foundations for standard Latvian and also popularized the Latvianization of loan words. However, in the 1880s, when Czar Alexander III came into power, during this period, some Latvian scholars even suggested adopting Cyrillic for use in LatvianLatvian language – Latvian Lutheran songbook (hymnal) in old orthography.