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Soviet Occupation Remembered in Riga
 Jun 17, 2010

Latvia commemorates Soviet Occupation Day on June 17, the day the Soviet army entered the country 70 years ago.

The Soviet occupation was based on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in 1939 between the USSR and Germany dividing Eastern Europe. In the fall of 1939, the Baltic republics agreed under pressure to allow the creation of Soviet army bases on their territories. Despite this arrangement, on June 16, 1940, Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov delivered an ultimatum to the Latvian ambassador in Moscow demanding that an unlimited number of troops be allowed to enter the country and resignation of the Latvian government. The alternative was a forced occupation.

The authoritarian government of Kārlis Ulmanis accepted the ultimatum and resigned in an effort to prevent war.

Russkiy Mir Foundation Information Service

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"And we will preserve you, Russian speech,
The great Russian word.
We will keep you free and pure,
And pass you on to our grandchildren,
Free from bondage forever!" Anna Akhmatova "Valor"

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