I'm visiting Riga at the moment. There's a lot of anti-Soviet propaganda. In the national library and all over the place.
In the national library it's as if Latvian history ended in 1918 and picked up again in 1991. They call it a 'Soviet occupation' despite them being a full-fledged Soviet Socialist Republic. They even called the censorship of their books and literature 'intellectual genocide'. I thought that cheapens the word genocide.
At a construction site, one of the signs blocking the view of the site had something about never forget 'the oppression of the Soviet and German National Soycialism, 1941-1991'. To me, that's making it seem like the Nazis and the Soviets were exactly the same.
I look around Riga and outside of the revived old city core, it's all dilapidated buildings, crumbling infrastructure, poverty, etc. They built a massive 11-12 story library that is basically empty space inside, filled why Latvian nationalist propaganda.
I did read about the 'Bolshevik invasion' of 1918.
Can someone tell me more about the Soviet and pre-Soviet history of the Baltics? Admittedly, I am ignorant of it and I have never looked it up.
Every former soviet republic does this shit, except maybe Belorussia. Jobless drug addicted people live in dilapidated ruins and scream about independence from ebil gommies as porky loots whatever natural resources remain. Propaganda is crazy strong.
Basically the best examples of this are the Baltic states & the one former SSR that kicks it up a notch is Ukraine.
OP here. Pic related, just took in 5 mins ago. See what I mean?
I know Estonia just went full imperialist and joined NATO and the IMF and it’s doing pretty well for itself because of this. Same to a degree, but with EU development bux (which is basically just imperialism bux, but through a middleman). Maybe they’re hoping if they suck enough Western dick, some of the same Western imperialist gibs will come their way? (Which, I mean, it won’t, they only need Estonia as a buffer against Russia)
I guess the other answer is that the political establishment is in the pocket of the Western imperialist powers.
This isn't true for the Central Asian former SSRs. I've dated a Khazak girl once and she was a crazy tankie.
OP here. What about the Soviet invasion of 1918. Why did the new Soviet Union need Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania? Could they have done without what is essentially a forest and farmland?
They were just securing the lands of the old Russian Empire. They were also trying to spread the revolution, which was cut short by the failed invasion of Poland.
You know, it's telling that Latvia considers its time as an SSR as a "gap" in its history and calls it a "Soviet occupation", but not its time as a province of the Russian Empire, Sweden or Poland-Lithuania.
My thoughts exactly! For the German occupation in some places they just say "in foreign hands", which is less harsh than "Soviet occupation".
Stalin should have resettled them into the Baltic Sea.
This and the fact that many Latvians and Estonians were communists and were also rising up, Latvian and Estonian workers were also forming soviets, red guard units and trying to conduct the revolution at home, it was all one combined struggle. It was only because of German support for the provisional bourgeois government destroying the revolution that the Baltic states weren't red from the very start in 1917. The modern Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian states (and to a large extent along identical liens the Finnish state and to a slightly lesser one the Polish state) all identify themselves with the virulently anti-communist bourgeois nationalist governments that had no support from the masses and only came to power after the Germans and white guards forced out and massacred the communist workers and their representatives. There's a reason why Estonians and Latvians were so over represented proportionally within the CPSU.
Invasion? There were local soviets in the Baltics that the German imperial army overthrew after they invaded in 1918. The Soviet central government intervened there to support the workers movement against the whites and restablish the councils. The only invasions were german and polish.
Other than what other posters said Access to warm water port, and control of strategic area.
The prosperity of the Baltic states was built up during Soviet times, they were the most prosperous of the union, better than Ukraine and western Russia, way better than the central Asian states. I suppose that for nationalists this brings a certain feeling of inadequacy - their wealth is built upon the interconnectivity with an entity much larger than themselves. It's like trying to be a hardcore Luxembourg nationalist when you're just an appendage to Germany. Imagine being a generic reactionary nationalist politician (so not the common worker who identifies with nationalism) in a former socialist country and the sheer shame you must feel. Public works, infrastructure, education, healthcare etc. made great by the Soviets and now things are just stagnating despite all the EU bucks. The Americans have bases on your soil. There's beggars on the streets, something unthinkable 30 years ago. The Riga Metro was never built. People keep leaving the country! Nationalists are a disgrace to their country and its people, they have no commitment to any larger historical project. Just being good puppets for oligarchy and imperialism.
I think that's by design – a kind of engineers emigration done via cutting the civil service and pushing people out, which not only cuts spending but also solves unemployment. Win win!
Shit like this makes me so depressed. What could've been, my friends…
Good take comrade. If these nationalists truly cared about their country's people, they would have expanded on the social services the Soviets bestowed upon them in the past. Instead of that, they throw a tantrum like a toddler, toss everything aside, and create their own bastardized version of these benefits (bonus points if this was done for some faux-national revitalization purpose). Empty promises of a better and more open economy and all in the name of growth. If that doesn't work, they throw their hands up when things don't go their way only to blame it on everyone but themselves. Immigrants, Soviets, communists, and finally jews. Nationalists are enemies of the working class.