: Latvia reveals cost of Soviet occupation

16:29 Apr. 22, 2016

Latvia reveals cost of Soviet occupation

People keep vigil at the Latvian Government building barricaded against possible attack by Soviet troops in Riga, Jan. 21, 1991 (AP file photo)

Historians publish three books with detailed calculations

Decades-long Soviet Union's occupation of Latvia cost the country EUR 185 billion. This figure was made public by a special investigative committee, established 11 years ago to calculate the damage.

The findings of the committee are presented in three books: ‘Latvian Industry Before and After Restoration of Independence', ‘Colonial Policy of the Soviet Empire and Colonization of Latvia in 1940-1990', and ‘Damage Caused to the Baltics by the Soviet Union'.

Watch also Baltics issue demand to Moscow to pay for decades of occupation

Speaking at the presentation of the books, MEP Inese Vaidere stressed the need for a common understanding of history, explaining that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were "equally criminal".

Latvian historians say while the figure of EUR 185 billion is a shocking one, it is focused primarily on the economic costs. Deportations and imprisonment policy conducted by the occupational authorities resulted in a heavy human toll, which is much harder to put a price on.

Watch also Latvians commemorate 25th anniversary of Riga Barricades

The Baltic states were forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

After three years under Nazi occupation, they were retaken by the Soviets in 1944, remaining under Moscow's rule until independence in 1991.

Based on reporting by New Historian,  Latvian Public Broadcasting

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