Three facts about Latvian Riflemen taking Petrograd in December 1917
On December 8, 1917 the Russian capital Petrograd saw train arrivals from Vidzeme, carrying soldiers from the 6. Tukums Latvian Riflemen Regiment. Latvian Riflemen were to ensure order in Bolshevik-seized Petrograd. The Bolsheviks among them were entrusted with guarding the Soviet government.
Happy independence day from... everyone!

November 18 is the day upon which the Latvian Republic was declared in 1918, and consequently is independence day - the Latvian equivalent of July 4 in the United States.

Latvia marks Lāčplēša Diena

Speeches and ceremonies are the order of the day November 11 with Latvia holding its day of remembrance (Lāčplēša Diena) for the military and freedom fighters who dies during the struggle for independence. 

Latvia at a crossroads: November 1917

It's 1917, and it's a dramatic year in Latvian and Russian history. It's a time when revolutions and new ideas are born. Societies wearied by war are looking for ways out. Latvia has to choose between submitting to German occupation, marching with the Bolsheviks, or trying to become independent, writes the historian Jānis Šiliņš. 

Watch: Timothy Snyder speaks in Riga

October 16 saw American academic Timothy Snyder in Riga to deliver the annual lecture marking Isaiah Berlin Day (the famous British philosopher was born in the Latvian capital).

Giant flag hoisted on windy day

Visitors to the Latvian capital cannot fail to notice a new element of the famous Riga skyline from October 18 with the unfurling of a very large new flag. 

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - Under the reins of the KGB

Latvia's national partisans - the Forest brothers - supported western secret service infiltration into what was then the Latvian SSR (as well as continuing active resistance to occupying forces). The available documents from the cache of recently declassified CIA documents testify that all of these operations failed, to the degree that the agency began to suspect Baltic partisan movements were covertly controlled by Soviet secret services.

Search for grave of Latvia's pre-war prime minister called off

The search for the grave site of Karlis Ulmanis, the last prime minister of Latvia before 1940, has been called off as it will be impossible to find, ex-President and Karlis Ulmanis' grand-nephew Guntis Ulmanis said in an interview with Latvijas Avize newspaper.

Rare opportunity to visit St. Meinhard's island by foot

As the Riga Hydroelectric Power Station has lowered water levels, locals and tourists have a rare opportunity to walk rather than take a boat to the Ikšķile church ruins, located on St. Meinhard's island on Daugava River. The church may be called the place where Christianity began in Latvia. 

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - Anti-Soviet sentiment across the Baltics

The enormous cache of formerly classified Cold War-era documents released by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) early this year also describes Latvia's 'forest brothers' - a resistance movement to occupying Soviet power following World War II. This batch of documents, released by Rus.lsm.lv, describes the anti-Soviet sentiment that was pervasive throughout Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine following the second world war.

Invitation to 'picnic with the district'

The 'Maskavas forštate' district of Riga is one of the Latvian capital's most interesting parts, combining a rich and sometimes tragic history with fascinating architecture and a reputation as a sometime haven for the seamy side of life while gentrification improves/spoils other districts.

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - Caught between the CIA and MI6

The enormous cache of formerly classified Cold War-era documents released by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) early this year also describes Latvia's 'forest brothers' - a resistance movement to occupying Soviet power following World War II. Some of these documents also probe the role both the CIA and the Soviet security agency KGB played within the movement. 

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - A letter from the forest

The enormous cache of formerly classified Cold War-era documents released by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) early this year also describes Latvia's 'forest brothers' - a resistance movement to occupying Soviet power following World War II. Some of these documents also probe the role both the CIA and the Soviet security agency KGB played within the movement. 

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - Western aid to the resistance

The enormous cache of formerly classified Cold War-era documents released by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) early this year also describes Latvia's 'forest brothers' - a resistance movement to occupying Soviet power following World War II. Some of these documents also probe the role both the CIA and the Soviet security agency KGB played within the movement. 

'Forest brothers' in the CIA archives - setting up and organizing the resistance

The enormous cache of formerly classified Cold War-era documents released by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) early this year also describes Latvia's 'forest brothers' - a resistance movement to occupying Soviet power following World War II. Some of these documents also probe the role both the CIA and the Soviet security agency KGB played within the movement. 

'Forest brothers' explained

A recent NATO film sketching the story of resistance to occupying Soviet power following World War II caused predictable hysteria among Russian official circles. Diplomats and state-controlled news channels wasted no time in re-hashing their crude and conveniently self-congratulatory interpretation of history.

Help with the hunt for Latvia's greatest trees

Trees have a special place in Latvia, not only in the economy but also as cultural monuments: and many of the largest, rarest, most historic and most characterful examples have special protected status as a result.