Documentary examines withdrawal of occupying forces in 1994

Latvian Television has prepared another in its series of short documentary films titled 'The Keys' on historical themes, complete with English-language subtitles.

This time the year under scrutiny is 1994, the date when an agreement was finally signed on the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Latvia -- though the withdrawal had been happening in sometimes chaotic fashion for some time already. It marked another important step for the freshly reborn Baltic states which until that point had been highly militarized under Soviet occupation with parts of the country such as coastal zones effectively off-limits to the population. 

In Latvia alone there were more than 3,000 military units at more than 700 locations, and military facilities covered more than 1,600 square kilometers of the country's surface area, the documentary says. As well as large naval ports such as Liepāja there were 22 military airfields and 12 ballistic missile facilities, making Latvia one of the most densely militarized zones in the world.

Entire military towns such as that at Skrunda were constructed for the families of thousands of Red Army soldiers sent to wat was considered a prime posting.

According to LTV "The Keys" series tells of the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts. 

"Such an exploratory approach, bypassing the usual stereotypes of presenting history, will allow viewers to perceive what is known to others and to better understand what has happened in the context of today's experience," says LTV.

The show is made by VFS Films, a long-time partner of Latvian Television and it is hosted by Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a distinguished cultural journalist who sadly passed away late last year.

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