The old town of Riga, the capital and largest city of Latvia. *Photo from Wikipedia
November 18 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Latvia from Russia in 1918.
After centuries of Swedish, Livonian (People who lived on the shores of present-day Latvia), Polish and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the privileged Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on November 18, 1918, after declaring independence from Russia in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s, the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime. The country’s de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia’s forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next fifty years.
The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the “Stalinist” regime’s illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on May 4, 1990, and restoring de facto independence on August 21, 1991.
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, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as sharing a maritime border with Sweden to the west.