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Latvian Armed Forces and Security

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by Andris, Jan 29, 2016.

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  1. Andris

    Andris New Member

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    Latvian Defence Minister, Raimonds Bergmanis, believes Russia’s snap military exercises present a grave danger to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

    Speaking on Latvian national television on January 28, 2016, Bergmanis reminded the public that his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, announced the Kremlin’s plans to sculpture three divisions in western Russia this year.

    He added that every military district in Latvia should also expect to undergo spot checks in 2016, meaning Latvia should re-examine the capability of its armed forces this year.
     
  2. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    Latvia and others Baltic countries are midget countries with midget armed forces. They should create common united armed forces in order to somehow defence themselves and get time for major NATO forces to arrive.
     
  3. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Somehow I doubt that would help.
     
  4. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    After all their total population is ~6 mln. and overall strength of the three armed forces is ~50 000. It is something significant, using proper strategy and tactics of course.
     
  5. Toblerone

    Toblerone Banned Member

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    A military alliance is much less than the sum of its parts. Diplomatically, it may make some sense.

    Then again, knee jerk reactions and needless escalation may not be the best answer. Better would be to focus on internal stability and prosperity and balanced diplomatic relations. The ukrainian affair happened because Putin's hand was forced because of hostile actors grabbing power from his ally (puppet?), try to prevent *that* from happening.

    (Wikipedia gives the russian minority at 26% of Latvian population. Ouch.)
     
  6. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    10.5% Russian before WW2, 34% in 1989. Latvians 75.5% (& substantial German & Jewish minorities, almost all gone by 1989) & 52%, & 68% in 1897. Fewer Latvians in absolute numbers in 1989 than 1935.

    Estonians - 89.4% of Estonia's population in 1897, 88.1% in 1934, 61.5% in 1989. Fewer of 'em in absolute numbers in 1989 than 1934. Russians? 4.6%, 8.2% & 30.3%

    No wonder they're scared of Russia.
     
  7. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a general pattern of russification in large urban and industrial centers of the former Soviet Union. Typically Russian was the "international" language of the USSR, most major colleges and universities taught in that language, technical manuals and scientific papers were published primarily in Russian. Consequently modern day Ukraine found itself in a situation where it's entire technocratic elite is functionally Russian. The CARs suffered the worst from this, which wasn't helped by their domestic instability, problems with drugs and radical Islam. But the Baltics were in a similar boat. There's a reason they're a sad sight to behold today.

    For bonus points you should look into their GDP PPP per capita relative to Russia from '85 until '15. Interesting lesson. ;)
     
  8. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    - I mean a monolithic armed forces with sole military command, not just a military alliance. They already decided to have common air defence, still that is not enough indeed. Actually the Baltic countries should understand they are frontier states and have to fight to survive.
    - is that about Russia?:). Probably you do not have much info about the Ukrainian conflict. That is not a national interior conflict, and generally Ukrainians do not worry about using Russian language around. Many people think that Russia had decided that Ukraine really could escape to Europe and started preparations to take Ukraine under tight control long time ago.
    - that is right, after decades of genocide and national oppression they hate Russians as well (and not only the Baltic nations). It was a national policy to settle Russian population to there (not anybody, mostly ex-militaries, communist party workers etc).
     
  9. Atasas

    Atasas Banned Member

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    ........
     
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  10. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    As in Crimea, Russification in the Baltic states was aided by executions & deportations - up to the early 1950s, I think. They also had the establishment of industrial enterprises with entirely imported workforces. Consider the town of Narva - it was almost completely razed after WW2 (it was very heavily damaged in the war), & new housing was allocated to Russians. Estonians who'd fled the fighting, or whose homes had been destroyed, could not return. This was doubtless for strategic reasons, given the location of the town.

    GDP figures for the transition from central planning to market economies are, unfortunately, still unreliable, though those for the Baltic states are much better than most ex-Soviet republics. This problem affects all the former Soviet republics, including Russia. They're not consistent with Soviet estimates of the products of the republics, even allowing for biases (e.g. the subsidies to Central Asian republics implicit in the prices paid to cotton producers). Tracking back from current PPP figures using published growth rates gives pre-1990 figures which are hard to believe. More work needs to be done, & that really needs all-union data from Goskomstat.
     
  11. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Precisely because NATO and the US had little desire to get into a shooting war with Russia over the fate of a couple of Georgian provinces, is why there weren't NATO soldiers defending Georgia, and what US military personnel were in the country were rapidly evacuated. As far as who started the war, it wasn't Tbilisi that was flattened with artillery. ;)
     
  12. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you any materials to support the claim that this was deliberate policy rather then a simple consequence of wartime displacement? What is the scale of deportations from the post-war period compared to the total population present? How many of the Balts moved elsewhere in the USSR for personal reasons rather then because they were deported at gun point? The mobility of population in the Soviet Union was much higher then it was in the old Russian Empire. I'm not arguing, I'm genuinely interested in what you base your opinions on.

    Look at the figures from independence onward, in that case. The trend is still visible.
     
  13. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unlikely. The Georgians, under ideal geographic conditions, and dealing with a much weaker and less competent Russian military, nonetheless were smashed in mere days. And the Georgians had an overwhelming number advantage at the operational level. The best hope, the only real hope, the Baltics have is that NATO serves as adequate deterrence. And so far it has.
     
  14. Atasas

    Atasas Banned Member

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    ........
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  15. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. Such a long term plan that they planted the seeds of ethnic strife centuries ago between the various Caucasian tribes... :rolleyes:
     
  16. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    The Georgian armed forces were not the best in the world to say the least. Specialists think they just were not prepared for real military actions (and what is that, "overwhelming number advantage at the operational level"?).
    Indeed you need to have better organization, hi-tech weapons and equipment and, very important, a big will to fight for your country in order to stand up against strong enemy. Indeed their governments are doing important things now, but much more should be done to build up a really strong armed forces, proper relations with NATO, etc.
     
  17. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Russia had a single 2-lane mountain road into Georgia. Their ability to bring troops in was very limited, and vehicles breaking down on the road created traffic jams. Russian forces actually in South Ossetia and in combat were consistently outnumbered by Georgian forces in South Ossetia. However the Georgians didn't know it at the time.

    It's a complicated question. Bringing their defense spending to the 2% minimum requirement would certainly be a step in the right direction. Training for coordinated action with each other specifically, without other NATO forces present, would also be more realistic. However there's only so much they can do.
     
  18. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    I'm not talking about the movement of people to jobs elsewhere in the USSR, but the arrests & forced deportations that accompanied the Soviet occupation & annexation in 1940-41 & the return of the Red Army in 1944-45, & continued up to the beginning of the 1950s. They're well-documented & only the numbers are disputed.

    The first deportations, in 1940, seem to have involved relatively few people. Much greater numbers were deported in June 1941, just before the German invasion (so not triggered by it), & more in 1944-45 & 1949. Deportees were allowed to return after 1958, & many of those who were still alive did. There were still obstacles, though, such as being at the back of queues for housing, especially in 'sensitive' areas such as Narva & Dvinsk/Daugavpils.

    The following numbers have been estimated for 1944-55, though as I said, they're disputed, & should be taken as an upper bound.
    Estonia 124,000
    Latvia 136,000
    Lithuania 245,000
    Pre-war populations of ethnic Estonians & Latvians & Lithuanians, in thousands were -
    Estonians 993 (1934) (Russians 94) 1989: 963 & 475
    Latvians 1473 (1935) (Russians 206) 1989: 1388 & 906

    Lithuania didn't have an influx of Russians on the scale of the others, so it's not such an issue there, & inconveniently, it also didn't have a census after 1923, & that was for a smaller area than the current state. It didn't include Vilnius, for example.
     
  19. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    Also, It seems a new aviation wing is being formed in western Russia (Shatalovo, Smolenskaya Oblast). Probably it will consist of SU-34 (suitable for bombing at long distances) and reconnaissance SU-24MP and An-30.
     
  20. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    It would be interesting for Latvian army to change their 100 mm Škoda vz53 field gun for DENEL 105 mm light weight Light Experimental Ordnance (LEO). It is capable for direct fire and can be used as a howitzer. It has extended range comparing with the common 105mm guns as well. DENEL also provide a turret based on this gun for self-propelled howitzers. (DENEL is a South African company).

    P.S. 100 mm Skoda guns can be solved to Ukraine :)