Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (Latvian SSR; Latvian: Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika; Russian: Латвийская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Latviyskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known as Soviet Latvia or Latvia, was a de facto republic of the Soviet Union.

Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Латвийская Советская Социалистическая Республика (Russian)
Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika (Latvian)
1941–1944: German occupation
Anthem: Anthem of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Location of Latvia (red) within the Soviet Union
StatusUnrecognized Soviet Socialist Republic
(1940–1941, 1944–1990/91)
Common languagesRussian
State atheism
GovernmentNon-self-determined One-party Soviet Socialist Republic
First Secretary 
Jānis Kalnbērziņš (first)
Alfrēds Rubiks (last)
LegislatureSupreme Soviet
Historical eraWorld War II · Cold War
17 June 1940
 SSR established
21 July 1940
 Illegally annexed by USSR, Latvia continued de jure
5 August 1940
 Soviet re-occupation
SSR re-established
4 May 1990
 Independence recognized by the State Council of the Soviet Union
6 September 1991
198964,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)
CurrencySoviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Calling code7 013
Today part ofLatvia

It was established on 21 July 1940, during World War II, as a Soviet puppet state[1] in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Latvia after it had been occupied on June 17, 1940 by the Red Army, in conformity with the terms of the 23 August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Following the Welles Declaration of July 23, 1940, the annexation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union (USSR) on 5 August 1940 was not recognized as legitimate by the United States or by Western European governments and recognition of it as the nominal thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth constituent republic of the USSR was withheld for five decades.[2] Its territory was subsequently conquered by Nazi Germany in June–July 1941, before being retaken by the Soviets in 1944–1945. Nevertheless, Latvia continued to exist as a de jure independent country with a number of countries continuing to recognize Latvian diplomats and consuls who still functioned in the name of their former governments.

Soviet rule came to an end during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The first freely elected parliament of the Latvian SSR passed a declaration "On the Renewal of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia" on May 4, 1990, restoring the official name of the State of Latvia as the Republic of Latvia.[3] The full independence of the Republic of Latvia was restored on 21 August 1991, during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and fully recognized by the Soviet Union on 6 September 1991.